Deadly fungal disease affecting bats creeps into B.C.
A hibernating Little Brown Bat showing visible signs of the fungus.
Image Credit: Contributed/Marvin Moriarty U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
February 02, 2017 - 1:30 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – A disease responsible for killing millions of bats has made its way to the west coast and possibly to B.C.
Experts are worried that White Nose Syndrome, the fungal disease that's spreading across North America, will start killing bat populations in the province.
According to a release from the B.C. Community Bat Program, the disease was found near Seattle last March and experts are getting ready for it to appear in B.C. The group is asking for help from the public in monitoring the spread of the disease.
"We knew this deadly fungus was moving westward across North America," Mandy Kellner, of the B.C Community Bat Program, says in the release. "But we thought we had many years to prepare."
Keep an eye out for bats flying during the winter because that's when they should be hibernating, according to the release. Dead bats can also signal the presence of the disease.
There is no treatment for White Nose Syndrome and it has a near 100 per cent mortality rate.
If you find a dead bat, report it to the CBP Okanagan at 1-855-922-2287 ext. 13, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bat Program advises people to not touch dead bats with their bare hands and if a pet comes in contact with a bat, seek information about rabies immediately.
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