Watch above: A conservationist who works for Saskatoon’s Beaver Creek conservation area says the bat population is plummeting across Canada. Amber Rockliffe reports.
SASKATOON – They weigh as much as a loonie and fly up to 35 kilometres per hour; but most importantly, they consume up to 1,200 mosquitoes every hour. The little brown bat is an asset to humans, but unfortunately it has been put on the federal government’s species at risk list.
Kenton Lysak jokingly calls himself “Batman.” He works for Saskatoon’s Beaver Creek Conservation Area, sharing his love of the little creatures with visitors.
“I think where the misconception is, is that they’re dirty, or that they fly in your hair. There are a lot of myths about them, but really they’re a good animal to have around,” Lysak explained.
But he said their populations are plummeting across Canada.
“There’s a fungus called white nose syndrome, and it’s really bad at getting into bat colonies and spreading,” Lysak explained.
“Because of it, over 95 per cent of the bat population has dropped.”
Since 2006, the disease has killed more than 5.7 million bats in eastern North America.
Lysak said the little brown bat has also experienced habitat loss. He’s encouraging families to build little bat boxes and habitats in their back yards to help save populations. He said being in large colonies leaves the creatures more susceptible to the disease.
Little brown bats hibernate from October or November to March or April, most often in caves or abandoned mines that are humid and remain above freezing.