White Nose Syndrome on PEI

What is White Nose Syndrome?

White Nose Syndrome (WNS) is a fungal disease that has devastated bat populations across much of eastern North America.

During the winter months, the WNS fungus causes the hibernating bats to wake up and move around. Unfortunately this uses valuable fat reserves so they leave their winter shelter to seek insects to eat. They die quickly from exposure to cold temperatures.

White Nose Syndrome on P.E.I.

There are two species of bat known to breed on the Island:

During the summer months these bats frequent forests, streams, fields and other areas feeding on a wide range of flying insects.

However, there is little information about the Island's winter bat populations. Bats tend to hibernate in large groups during the winter months in locations that have constant but cool (above freezing) temperatures such as caves and large tree cavities. Small numbers may also hibernate inside old barns, abandoned wells and old buildings with stone foundations. 

How can I report bat sightings?

Please call the toll-free number 1-833-434-BATS (2287) and report information such the location, number of bats, bat health issues and other pertinent information to help researchers determine the size and health of local populations.

What can be done to stop the spread of this disease?

Presently there is is little that can be done but scientists are working on the problem and monitoring the progress of the disease. The Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative conducts and coordinates WNS research in Canada.

For further information on bats, please contact the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative. 



Published date: 
May 9, 2024
Environment, Energy and Climate Action

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183 Upton Road
Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

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