MTRI is a non-profit co-operative with a mandate to promote sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity conservation in the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve and beyond through research, education, and the operation of a field station.
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Bats have become increasingly at risk in Canada due to White-nose syndrome since it was first observed in New York in 2006. Since then it has spread through bat-to-bat contact, arriving in Nova Scotia in 2010/2011. White-nose syndrome is caused by Pseudogymnascus destructans, a fungus which invades the body of bats while they overwinter in caves. The fungal infection causes the bats to awaken and burn their fat stores resulting in death by starvation or hypothermia. In 2013, MTRI and the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources (NSDNR) collaborated to create www.batconservation.ca. The website consists of a web portal for reporting bats and also directs users to the rare species reporting hotline where they can also submit reports of bats.
Photo Credit: Hugh Broders
To advertise the bat conservation website and rare species reporting hotline to Nova Scotians.
To raise awareness of White-nose syndrome and the decline of bat populations.
To collect information on bats observed in Nova Scotia.
A website with a Google maps input interface was created and reviewed by experts.
The website was launched in 2013 and advertised widely in Nova Scotia.
The website was re-launched in May 2014 and then closed to submissions October 31 2014. All sightings were referred to Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources after that date.
Records were spatially proofed and phone call data were added to the online database.
The website received over 12,989 page views by 2,922 unique visitors.
Over 900 individuals provided over 900 records to the database.
Maps of the results were produced and a short report will be available on the bat conservation website.
Any reports that mentioned large concentrations of bats, nuisance bats or injured bats were forwarded to Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources.
The website received over 13,000 page views by 2,536 unique visitors.
Over 900 individuals provided over 1100 records to the database.
Location of bat sightings submitted to the bat conservation website and rare species reporting hotline
Ongoing project since 2013
Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources
Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute
Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Network