NEW HIBERNACULA SPECIES RECORDS
Recent BatCaver genetic results have confirmed the presence of Little Brown Myotis in two new locations in Alberta. These discoveries add to the growing database of critical habitat identified by our program, which will ultimately help direct future conservation efforts of this federally endangered species. One of the sites, a cave the South-Western portion of the province, was first visited by our team in October 2018. During this time we deployed ultrasonic data loggers that record bat activity, paired with temperature and humidity loggers to gather information on the type of cave climate the bats are using at this site. These measurements will contribute to our understanding of patterns of bat activity at that site throughout the winter, and provide critical information about what habitat features are most frequently associated with winter bat use.
NEW EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS
The BatCaver program has released a new video demonstrating one easy method of decontaminating caving equipment after exiting a cave or mine. Our BC coordinator walks the viewer step-by-step through one of his common decon procedures: immersing his caving equipment in 60 degree water for at least 20 minutes. The video is intended to help increase the likelihood that more people will follow recommended procedure by reducing the effort required to follow the prescribed protocols that reduce the risks of inadvertently transporting White-Nose Syndrome spores from one region to another.
White-Nose Syndrome has continued spreading further westward and was recently discovered infecting bats in Manitoba. As this highly transmissible and fatal disease continues to spread westward, adherence to proper decontamination protocol is increasingly important, especially among anyone who may enter multiple caves or mines in a wide geographic range.
Additional decontamination procedures can be found under the decontamination protocol link on the BatCaver Resources page.