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Bats, wanted dead or alive across Capital Region

A hibernating brown bat displays visible signs of white nose syndrome. The usually fatal condition is said to be moving the West Coast of North America. - Photo courtesy of Marvin Moriarty, U.S. Fish  and Wildlife Service
A hibernating brown bat displays visible signs of white nose syndrome. The usually fatal condition is said to be moving the West Coast of North America.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Marvin Moriarty, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Habitat Acquisition Trust is urging Capital Region residents to be on the lookout for bats during the next few weeks.

White Nose Syndrome, a fungal disease that is responsible for the death of millions of bats in eastern North America and has a nearly 100 per cent mortality rate for infected animals, has moved to the West Coast.

Typical signs of the disease include bats flying during winter, an unusual sight given that they are usually in hibernation at this time of year, and the appearance of dead bats.

While the disease is devastating for these animals, it does not affect humans.

Habitat Acquisition Trust, on behalf of the B.C. Community Bat Program and in collaboration with the provincial government, is requesting the public’s help in monitoring the spread of the disease. If you find a dead bat or see one flying in the region, report it to Katie Bell by calling 250-995-2428 as soon as possible and to receive further information.

The Trust also reminds residents to never touch or pick up a dead bat with bare hands. Also, if pets have been in direct contact with a bat, contact a veterinary professional regarding the risk of rabies to your pet and yourself.

To contact the B.C. Community Bat Program, visit bcbats.ca, send an email to info@bcbats.ca or call 1-855-922-2287.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

 

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