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Bats and White Nose Syndrome


Photo Credit: West Virginia Department Of Natural Resources

Report a Bat   Report a Cave

Some caves in the Canadian Rockies are home to bats, as either hibernacula - places where they hibernate during winter months - or maternity colonies - places where mothers raise their pups. Bats are an important part of a healthy ecosystem and are vital in the control of mosquitos and other insects. Never disturb roosting bats, particularly in winter when their energy reserves are critically low or in spring when their pups are unable to fly. You can find more information on bats in Alberta at the Alberta SRD Bats page. 

If you come across bats in or near a cave, please let us know. It is valuable information for understanding these fasinating mammals. Use the reporting  link above or otherwise email info@caving.ab.ca

A very serious disease known as White Nose Syndrome, which is endemic in Europe, appeared in the northeastern United States in 2006 and subsequently spread west, south and north. In 2016 it made a large jump to Washington State.  White Nose Syndrome has  resulted in extremely high bat mortality, including the destruction of entire bat colonies, throughout the northeastern United States and eastern Canada. Biologists do not know if WNS will spread to western Canada, but the Alberta Speleological Society is helping the Province of Alberta monitor caves for its appearance. If you observe any bat colonies that exhibit signs of WNS, please send details to info@caving.ab.ca. This page will be updated with information or recommendations as it becomes available.

As a precaution all cavers are strongly encouraged to decontaminate thier cave gear after every trip into bat populated caves.  Gear used in known white nose affected areas should NEVER be used in a non white nose affected area.  You can find the latest Western Canada White Nose Syndrome Transmission Prevention guidelines attached below and this video from Parks Canada.

More information on White Nose Syndrome can be found at the following websites: