International Bat Appreciation Day was celebrated on April 17, 2023, and this was a great way to start discovering more about these fascinating creatures who are emerging from hibernation to once again share our skies, homes, woodpiles, and trees, and who rely on us to help their habitats and populations stay healthy and strong. Now it has become much more urgent that we be able ensure that these wonderful and beneficial mammals remain part of Mayne Island’s diversity.
In March 2023, the first confirmed record of White-nose Syndrome (WNS) was recorded in south east British Columbia.
White-nose Syndrome is a fungal disease of bats that can can be devastating to affected colonies. This means that our spring monitoring of active bat roosts and collection of guano becomes much more crucial. These small measures will allow us to detect when and if, WNS makes its way to Mayne Island, and we need to have as many roost sites as possible identified and monitoring begun.
This is where you come in.
If you have not already done so, please survey your property, outbuildings and your houses for signs of bat activity during the evenings. When you find evidence of bats, use please contact Michael Dunn (email@example.com) to set up a time for a spring assessment. For those of you who already have known roost sites, please collect any guano that has accumulated at the roost. Use gloves and put a sample carefully into a paper envelope not a plastic bag. Mark the date and address of the collection, or contact Michael (250-217-9832) if you cannot do this or to drop off the sample.
Thanks for considering this activity and contributing to the ongoing health of our bat species on Mayne Island.
Click here for a CBC story about the arrival of WNS in B.C.