02 Apr Have you seen any bats? We’d like to hear from you.
Have you seen any bats hanging around? If so – we’d like to hear from you.
PEI Fish and Wildlife: 902-368-4683
Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative BAT HOTLINE: 1-833-434-BATS (2287), toll-free
Please call these numbers to report any local bat sightings, receive guidance on managing bat in buildings, for assistance with any bat-related human health concerns, or for general bat information.
In Atlantic Canada bats are susceptible to a disease known as “white-nose syndrome” which has sent bat populations into a rapid decline in recent years. As of today, two local bat species are listed federally as endangered due to white-nose syndrome (the little brown myotis and the northern myotis). To learn more about white-nose syndrome you can visit: www.princeedwardisland.ca/topic/fish-and-wildlife or cwhc-rcsf.ca
Bats are nocturnal and spend winter months in hibernation; because of this, bats can be quite challenging to monitor! Any sightings reported by the public are extremely beneficial to wildlife biologists and researchers as they can help locate maternity colonies, hibernation sites, and important bat habitat that may otherwise go undetected.
Hibernating bats typically use underground caves or mines for their hibernation sites, however, in PEI, areas like these are relatively non-existent. Researchers have identified a handful of old wells as places where bats are already hibernating on PEI. It is suspected that bats are hibernating in other old wells across the island, and information on where these old wells are located is important in protecting bats.
How can you help bats on PEI?
Bats are protected wildlife, and it is illegal to kill or harm them, or to keep them in captivity.
- Avoid cutting down old trees (called “snags”) that are still standing
- Maintain woodlots near bodies of water
- Avoid displacing bats from their roosts between the beginning of May and the end of September
- Put up a bat house
- Consult with a wildlife biologist before filling in an old well
- Talk to your friends and neighbors about bats
- Report bat sightings to the provincial Forests, Fish and Wildlife division, your local watershed group (www.peiwatershedalliance.org) or call the CWHC BAT HOTLINE.