Determining Species Diversity and Population Size of Bats in the Pend d’Oreille Valley

Townsend’s Long-eared Bat (Corynorhinus townsendii). Photo credit: Dr. Cori Lausen.

The Waneta Terrestrial Compensation Program (WTCP) provides $50,000 annually to research, physical works, and other on-the-ground or applied terrestrial compensation projects.

VAST Resource Solutions (VAST) has received multi-year funding for some meaningful work they are doing in the Pend d’Oreille Valley. In close collaboration with Dr. Cori Lausen of the Wildlife Conservation Society (Canada), VAST is learning about species diversity, activity patterns, and population size at an abandoned mine site near Nelway, BC.

“The support we received from the Waneta Terrestrial Compensation Program last year allowed us to do baseline work which revealed what may be one of the largest and most diverse bat hibernacula in BC.” said Dr. Leigh Anne Isaac, Senior Wildlife Biologist with VAST. “With additional support this year, we will continue our work to determine the regional and international significance of the site.”

Bats in British Columbia face the imminent threat of White Nose Syndrome (WNS), a disease named for a fungus which affects hibernating bats. WNS is slowly moving westward and it is critical to locate significant hibernacula to ensure that mitigation can be planned, surveillance can be established, and overwintering habitat can be secured.

In addition to the WTCP, this project is supported by: BC Hydro Fish & Wildlife Compensation – Columbia, Trail Wildlife Association, Kootenay Community Bat Project, and the BC Ministry of Environment.

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