Canadian Assessment Concludes Three Bat Species are Endangered
An emergency assessment subcommittee of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada looking into the state of the tri-colored bat, little brown bat, and northern bat have assessed each of the bat species as endangered.
Although information on Geomyces destructans, the pathogen responsible for White-nose Syndrome, is still limited, the evidence of population collapse and rapid spread of the disease was clear enough to the committee that they concluded that it poses a serious and imminent threat to the survival of each of the species.
As a result of the February 3rd assessment, a recommendation has been made to the Canadian Minister of the Environment Peter Kent, that an emergency order be issued placing these wildlife species on Schedule 1 of the Canadian Species at Risk Act.
In addition, a document entitled, a National Plan to Manage White Nose Syndrome in Bats in Canada has been drafted to help guide efforts and to reduce or remove the possibility of transfer of the fungus by humans. The primary methods will be reducing the number of visits to caves and through decontamination protocols for researchers.
This is only the fourth emergency assessment carried out by COSEWIC in the past ten or so years.