A Horror Story for Bats
A fungus that penetrates the skin while the victim is asleep and kills it by draining all its energy! Enough to give you the shivers? Sadly, this macabre description corresponds to what North American bats are truly experiencing. They’re victims of the White Nose Syndrome (WNS).
Since this disease first appeared in Quebec in 2010, five of our eight bat species have suffered a dramatic drop in their numbers (between 12 and 98%). Certain colonies known for decades have simply disappeared. For this reason, it has become extremely important to protect the surviving bats. Here are some actions we must take:
• Never disturb a bat colony;
• Keep hollowed out trees and install bat dorms to offer them a shelter;
• Do not use pesticides;
• Lower outdoor lighting;
• Don’t enter abandoned caves or mines (this is also for your own safety);
• Register the colonies you discover by going to the following website: batwatch.ca;
• Call the Zoo de Granby’s winter shelter for bats if you find one between November and April.
Of course, you should never touch a bat because some might carry the rabies virus. If this should happen, you must immediately contact a health professional, or call Info-Santé 811.
A reportage of La Semaine Verte with our biologist colleagues from the Ministère de la Forêt, de la Faune et des Parcs giving you more in-depth information about the bats’ current situation in Quebec is available by clicking here.