We need 50 homeowners in the region to help conserve bats for the summer!
As you may know, white-nose syndrome has killed millions of bats across North America. Pesticides and wind turbines haven’t helped the bat populations either. Hardest hit are the endangered Little Brown Bat and Northern Myotis. These bats, and several others, may not be able to recover without our help.
Unfortunately, we’re also up against a slow recovery rate as well. Female bats typically have only one pup per year, meaning bats have very slow population growth rates and therefore recover from population decline very slowly. Thus, bats are particularly susceptible to the effects of various stressors. One disturbance and we could lose a whole generation of bats!
Reducing any additional stressors is crucial to conserving the already dwindling bat populations.
HelpTheBats.ca is the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s response to ensure Canadian bat populations are protected. The HelpTheBats.ca program engages schools and other groups in learning about Canadian bat species and the current threats to their survival, including habitat loss and white nose syndrome. This disease is decimating bat colonies across Eastern Canada. Our outreach program has engaged over 2,000 schools and groups across Canada with a citizen science component that has distributed hundreds of bat boxes and educational materials, all designed to encourage people to monitor bats in their area and send us their data.
If you have bats in your home, you’re in a position to make a real difference for these at-risk small mammals. As it happens, the Little Brown Bat is one of the most common bat species to take up residence in your home. For this reason, the Canadian Wildlife Federation is working in collaboration with several humane wildlife control companies in the Ottawa region to launch a pilot project that will provide 50 homeowners with the use of free specialized CWF bat houses. The Bat House Program will attempt to minimize the impact of evicting the bats from their adopted homes. It’ll also help to aid in the population recovery of these animals when the bats return next summer - only to find access to their roost blocked. With our help, they’ll have an alternate spot to roost!
Assistance for this project was provided by the Government of Ontario
Before the bat houses are installed on a residential property, CWF bat experts will conduct a site visit to determine what type of bat species is present and the size of the colony. Sites where the Little Brown Bat is present and facing eviction will be given top priority, since this species is most endangered.
After the installation of these bat houses, we will start monitoring the area and document any changes in the roosting habits of each bat colony. Homeowners and wildlife control companies will also be engaged in the study by monitoring the bat houses from dusk to dark to record any bat activity in and around each bat house.
Click to enlarge
As a means to promote the protection and recovery of the Little Brown Bat, CWF is collaborating with humane wildlife control companies to develop best management practices for their professional management of bats by:
Community engagement is critical to the success of the project and CWF will work locally and nationally, to promote the project and extend its reach. We are looking for 50 willing homeowners in the Ottawa area who would like to work with a humane wildlife control company and participate in the program to promote bat conservation.
Do you have a bat house? Register it with us! If not, then providing an alternative roosting site is a great way to promote the protection and conservation of the Endangered Little Brown Bat. Visit the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s online store and order your bat house today. Once you deploy your bat house be sure to register and help spread the word!
The Endangered Little Brown Bat roosts in buildings during spring, rears its pups over summer, and leaves for winter hibernaculum during autumn. If eviction occurs before the pups learn to fly (late August), they will die without any way of escaping! By evicting at the appropriate time of year and by installing a bat house prior to eviction, home owners will minimize their impact to bats.
There are many common misunderstandings regarding bats, so let’s set some of them straight:
For additional information on how to get involved or any inquiries, please contact:
Mike Anissimoff Bat Conservation Specialist Canadian Wildlife Federation firstname.lastname@example.org
Donate to support Canadian wildlife conservation!