Scientists demand government action on devastation of bat species

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Scientists demand government action on devastation of bat species



We've noticed, anecdotally, the disappearance of bats for a couple of seasons now in our region. Not enough people are aware of what's going on, nor of the federal Environment Minister's lack of action for seven months on an emergency request under the existing legislation.

[url= want bats declared at risk[/url]


Warning of a potential "eco-logical disaster," leading biologists are urging Environment Minister Peter Kent to protect Canada's bats.

The scientists, who say they are baffled by the minister's inaction, want Kent to "immediately" list three common bat species as endangered under the Species At Risk Act, in a bid to slow a catastrophic die-off that has already killed millions of the creatures.

"Dramatic declines in summer bat activity have been recorded and there is the potential for an ecological disaster that would completely change ecosystems, in a manner similar to the virtual elimination of Atlantic cod," Mark Brigham, head of biology at the University of Regina, and his colleagues warn in a recent letter to the minister.

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, a national body that assesses species at risk, recommended to Kent in February that an "emergency" order be issued to declare the three bat species endangered because a rapidly spreading fungus poses a "serious and imminent threat" to their survival.


Brigham said in an inter-view that [Minister Peter] Kent has taken longer to respond to the call for the "emergency" listing than it is meant to take for non-emergency requests from the committee, known as COSEWIC. Under a regular assessment of a species at risk, the minister has 90 days to indicate how he will respond to a recommendation from COSEWIC.


we got major bats and bees here this wasps though.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

We need bats.   Unfortunately we've just got batshit politicians.


[url= news release[/url], issued on February 27, 2012 by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, gives a good summary account of the problem as well as the urgency of the situation which led to the request to the Minister.

On 3 February 2012, an emergency assessment subcommittee of COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) assessed the status of Tri-colored Bat (Perimyotis subflavus), Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus), and Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) in Canada. All three species were assessed as Endangered. The subcommittee concluded that the unprecedented mortality in Canada's native bat species from Geomyces destructans, the pathogen responsible for White-nose Syndrome, poses a serious and imminent threat to the survival of each of these species. Populations of all three species have recently declined precipitously due to the rapid spread of White Nose Syndrome. A recommendation has been made to the Minister of the Environment that an Emergency Order be issued placing these wildlife species on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act. [...]

White Nose Syndrome was first identified in a cave in New York State, USA in February 2006. It was discovered in Canada in the winter of 2009/2010 and is now confirmed in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and is spreading rapidly at rates of between 200 and 400km/year. It is believed that the fungus is not native to North America, and further human transport may facilitate more rapid spread to western Canada.