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Manitoba Doubles Up on Protection for Bats
Manitoba has recently added several new species to its at-risk watch list.
Both the little brown bat and the northern long-eared bat have been listed as “endangered” in the province, which is the highest level of risk designation available.
The announcement was paired with the introduction of new statutes that allow the province to recognize whole ecosystems as protected. Manitoba listed alvar, which are sparse plant communities growing on top of limestone, and tall grass prairie ecosystems as protected.
The alvar ecosystem is especially significant as habitat for bat species in the province. Biologists report that the multiple levels of protection at both the species and ecosystem level will better protect whole communities. While white-nose syndrome, a devastating fungal disease that has decimated other bat populations in the United States and Canada, hasn’t yet been detected in Manitoba, the anticipatory protections can contribute to mitigating the effects of the disease if it eventually reaches the province.
These two bat species, along with the tri-colored bat that does not occur in Manitoba, have also been listed as endangered under the Species at Risk Act, which is the federal-level regulation in Canada.
Source: CBC News (June 16, 2015)