The public is invited to attend a free presentation about bats, white-nose syndrome, and ACAP’s bat monitoring project. It will be held at the ACAP Cape Breton Members’ Meeting on Tuesday, January 28, at 7:00-8:30 PM at 582 George St., Sydney. Admission is free, and all are welcome to attend.
ACAP began studying bats in Cape Breton last May. Since then, ACAP has monitored summer bat activity in several locations in Eastern Cape Breton and also hosted two public guided bat walks in Sydney and Main-á-Dieu. The project is currently in the winter monitoring phase when bats are hibernating.
Jared Tomie, Environmental Project Manager at ACAP Cape Breton has been in search of winter bat habitat and states, “The winter is a crucial time for bats in our region. To endure the harsh conditions, local bat species retreat to underground refuges like caves where conditions are more stable throughout the season. Unfortunately, it is during hibernation when white-nose syndrome has the potential to do a lot of damage.”
Bats in mainland Nova Scotia are threatened by white-nose syndrome, a deadly fungal disease that has been spreading from its epicenter in New York since 2006. Bats in Cape Breton do not appear to be infected, which gives scientists an opportunity to study their normal ecology before the disease arrives.
Tomie says, “Our goal this winter is to get some indication of where bats hibernate on Cape Breton and if telltale signs of the disease are present. We are urging the public to report any bat activity they see during the winter to the local Department of Natural Resources.”
ACAP Cape Breton is a non-profit, charitable community organization that integrates environmental, social, and economic factors into projects focusing on action, education, and ecosystem planning. For more information, phone 567-1628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.