CWHC Atlantic delivers second round of workshops on how to manage bats in buildings.
In January and early February 2020, the CWHC’s bat health team delivered free workshops in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia targeted for pest control operators (PCOs) and nuisance wildlife control officers (NWCOs) with the goal of training these individuals in best management practices for working with bats in buildings, focusing on the protection of the health of people and endangered bat species in such circumstances. This initiative fell under the CWHC Atlantic’s new two-year Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) project, titled Stewardship for protection and monitoring of Atlantic Canada’s endangered bat species, and was a continuation of the previous HSP project Bats roosting in anthropogenic structures: “Building” a better understanding in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador through stewardship and outreach, where similar workshops were delivered in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador in 2018. Both of these projects were funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).
While the workshops were developed to train PCOs and NWCOs, a wide variety of individuals interested in bat and human interactions attended the workshops: wildlife biologists (provincial and federal), wildlife technicians, public health inspectors, veterinarians, citizen scientists, and students. This resulted in productive discussion between all parties and valuable feedback was received on the best management practices for managing bats in buildings that are currently in development for these provinces. The content of the workshops was similar to that presented during the previous round of workshops, with the information tailored to meet the specific needs of each province. Topics included: general bat ecology on both a local and global scale, zoonotic diseases of bats, white-nose syndrome, managing bats in buildings (including provincial permitting regulations), bat monitoring techniques (including local research projects), and bat conservation. The New Brunswick workshops were offered in both French and English.
The full-day workshops were given in Bathurst (January 10th) and Fredericton (February 4th), New Brunswick, and Port Hawkesbury (January 21st) and Lower Sackville (January 23rd), Nova Scotia. An additional half-day workshop was given for our Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry colleagues in Debert (January 22nd). There were a total of 105 attendees at the full-day workshops, which were hosted in collaboration with Mary Sabine (Biodiversity Biologist, NB Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development) and Donald Sam (Species-at-Risk Biologist, NS Department of Lands and Forestry). The majority of the workshop material was delivered by Dr. Scott McBurney (CWHC Atlantic), Jordi Segers (CWHC National Office), and Tessa McBurney (CWHC Atlantic).
Tessa McBurney, CWHC Atlantic