P.E.I. bats suffering from white nose again
The Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown is examining the third bat found this winter on P.E.I. with white-nose syndrome.
That makes two years in a row the deadly fungus has been discovered on bats on the Island. The fungus grows on the animal’s nose, waking them up from hibernation and forcing them into the cold where, unable to find food, they die.
“These bats are very helpful to us by eating forest and agricultural pests, and the loss of them in the ecosystem may have impacts on our forestry and agriculture industries,” said Dr. Scott McBurney, who works with the Co-operative Wildlife Health Centre at AVC.
“Due to the devastating loss, like 98 to 99 per cent of individuals in a given hibernaculum, the places where bats spend the winter, there’s big fears that certain species of bats are going to go extinct.”
White-nose syndrome has been discovered in bats in five Canadian provinces. A national committee of animal scientists is asking Ottawa to declare at-risk bat species as endangered.