The Little Brown Bat (LLB for short or scientifically known as Myotis lucifugus) was added to the endangered species list on January 24, 2013.
According to Hinterland Who’s Who, a LLB only weighs about four pennies but can consume approximately 1000 flying insects each night. This allows the insect population to be kept in check – something we all can appreciate. The LLB has been found in a variety of habitats but seems to prefer areas close to wetlands and other water bodies due to the abundance of insects in these areas.
For interesting videos and pictures of the LBB follow this link to Hinterland Who’s Who: http://www.hww.ca/en/wildlife/mammals/little-brown-bat.html
Threats to Survival
Currently, threats to the LLB include loss of habitat, use of pesticides and a fungal disease thought to have originated in Europe and transmitted to North America on the equipment used by cave explorers.
This fungal disease called White Nose Syndrome (WNS) has decimated the LBB population, although recently there is evidence to suggest that some LBBs are surviving and becoming resistant to the lethal effects of WNS. Scientists are hard at work studying the disease and are keen to protect the bats that remain. One of their goals is to help the bats survive until they develop immunity to the deadly fungus. Link to this article for a full report:
What Can You do to Help?
Protecting our wetlands is one way to support the comeback of LBBs. Overnight and during the winter, LBBs live in tree cavities, caves, buildings and man-made bat boxes. So another good way to help support the surviving bat population is to build a bat box. To see how please visit www.batcon.org (specifically: http://www.batcon.org/resources/getting-involved/bat-houses/build)
Please Speak up!
You can help us protect a wetland complex located within the Township of the North Shore. This pristine environment is home to a number of species at risk, including the little brown bat, and it needs to be protected!
To advocate for the conservation of this critical habitat, write letters to the local council (firstname.lastname@example.org), local MP Michael Mantha (email@example.com), and the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry (MNRF) Steve Acorn (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Image ©Merlin Tuttle
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