Endangered Bat Species Protection and Recovery
CWHC-Atlantic’s “bat team” consists of Dr. Scott McBurney, Dr. Megan Jones, Jordi Segers, and Tessa McBurney, based in the Department of Pathology and Microbiology at the Atlantic Veterinary College. These individuals share a passion for bat health and population recovery, especially after the devastating decline in several bat species following the 2010 emergence of white-nose syndrome in Atlantic Canada.
Recently, this team successfully obtained $204,887 from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program (Species at Risk Stream; HSP-SAR), for their two-year project Stewardship for Protection and Monitoring of Atlantic Canada’s Endangered Bat Species. Their project focuses on conservation and recovery of three endangered bat species via a regional education and outreach initiative. This project builds on a successful and recently-completed HSP-SAR project that took place in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, and expands CWHC-Atlantic’s bat conservation initiatives to all four Atlantic Provinces.
Activities include 1) development of Managing Bats in Buildings Beneficial Management Practices for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and training their Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators to use them for protection of endangered bat species and their roosting habitats; 2) creation of an acoustic monitoring curriculum for a training workshop to build bat monitoring capacity among regional citizen scientists, nongovernmental organizations, and Indigenous Peoples, with subsequent provision of acoustic detection equipment to encourage this activity; 3) delivery of acoustic data harmonization, standardization, and quality control/quality assurance; and, 4) continuation of a regional bat information hotline for public reporting to identify critical habitat and roosts, assess bat health, and protect human and domestic animal health. Additionally, it provides a unique opportunity for Atlantic Canadian wildlife, public health, and animal health professionals to collaborate in endangered species protection and recovery.