White Nose Syndrome Research

Bats across North America are facing an epidemic. The Little Brown Myotis, Northern Myotis, and Tri-coloured Bat have been emergency listed as Endangered on Schedule 1 of the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) in 2014 because of sudden and dramatic declines across the eastern portions of the ranges because of a disease called “white-nose syndrome.” Scientists believe this disease kills bats by causing them to use too much energy during winter hibernation, so that they do not have enough stored energy to survive the winter, or do not have enough energy left over to thrive in the spring time when they emerge. This has resulted in a high number of deaths in recent years. The disease, which caused by a fungus called Pseudogymnoascus destructans, leaves the bats with white fungal growth around the nose and sometimes on the wings of the bats.

Little Brown Bats and their Importance for Humans

Little brown bats eat pests that transmit diseases and eat agricultural products. They are also predators of mosquitoes and other insects around human habitats. This creature consumes about 1500 insects each evening.

The most current Myotis research that has happened within the Matawa territory is around Aroland, Eabametoong, and Webequie First Nations. If you are interested in Bat species in your area, or know of a place where bats live and you are interested in White Nose Syndrome research, please contact Gord Parker at our Four Rivers Office.