July 30, 2018 4:04 pm

Toronto Zoo bat conservation program finds endangered species near city

An adult Californian Myotis bat rests on a building. 

Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project.

TORONTO – Researchers at the Toronto Zoo say they’re excited to have captured several endangered bats in the Great Toronto Area this month.

The zoo’s Native Bat Conservation Program says the northern myotis is one of four endangered bat species in Ontario.

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They say the northern myotis weighs less than a toonie, roosts in trees and forage for food, picking their prey off of leaves and catching flying insects.

The zoo says there is little available data on the northern myotis’ health or distribution in Ontario.

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Staff say the capture of four breeding female bats and three juvenile bats in the GTA is the “best result we could have hoped for,” as it proves unequivocally that the species lives in the area.

The zoo says its conservation program catches bats only to confirm the presence of different species and assess their health and reproductive status and that all animals captured are returned to the wild.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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