Bats are enigmatic species with a voracious appetite for insect pests, saving billions of dollars per year by enhancing agriculture and forest productivity. This is significant when considering the long lifespan and low fecundity of the Little Brown Myotis, Myotis lucifugus (MYLU). COSEWIC reported Canada as representing ~50% of the global range of MYLU before the arrival of White Nose Syndrome (WNS). Since then, COSEWIC cites a >90% decline of infected MYLU hibernacula in eastern Canada. In 2016 WNS was recorded in Washington State.
The Lehigh Hanson Cadomin Quarry is in an ideal location to provide enhanced biodiversity management on site for two federally endangered species; MYLU and Northern Myotis, Myotis septentrionalis (MYSE). Healthy artificial roosts support population recovery, and promote a first defense in building adequate fat reserves that assist in overwintering survival. With options that stabilize thermal cycling throughout the roosting period, behavioral thermoregulation lessens, resulting in healthier bats that may survive additional waking periods linked to WNS.
We will design, engineer, and test bat houses to optimize spring and summer thermal regulation. Classic bat houses will be tested against our prototypes in an environmental chamber. Finally, we will establish bat houses on the quarry lease to field-test our designs. This project will position Lehigh Hanson as a leader in providing suitable roosting habitat for the endangered Myotis species.

RULING THE ROOST - The Fungal Felon: White Nose Syndrome

White Nose Syndrome is a serious concern across North America, causing mortalities of thousands of North American bats. It is currently more of a problem in the United States and the Eastern portion of Canada but is slowly making its way across the continent. COSEWIC reported Canada as representing ~50% of the global range of MYLU before the arrival of WNS, and since then, COSEWIC cites a >90% decline of infected MYLU hibernacula, suggesting a loss of 5.7-6.7 million bats in eastern Canada....

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RULING THE ROOST - Importance of microbats – Happy Hibernacula

Bats are enigmatic microfauna that evoke human responses swayed by cultural superstition and myth. Their voracious appetite for insect pests enhances agriculture and forest productivity, saving billions of dollars per year. In order to be this incredible foraging force bats require stable places to roost during seasons of low temperatures and low insect presence. They use hibernacula for overwintering that provide stable conditions that allow bats to enter a low energy state and survive with...

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RULING THE ROOST - Prototype Design Version 1.0

Our first attempt to develop a thermally optimized bat house incorporated a thermosiphon and copper exchange plate. The concept is sound; however, the implementation and goal of the compact house design was compromised due to the inability to regulate the top end of heating cycles.

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RULING THE ROOST - Introducing the Team

Our team is comprised of student volunteers pursuing training at the diploma and degree level within The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), one support staff and myself as the principle investigator. The core team consists of Hafida Aissiou, Ronnie Caron, Csilla Harsasi, Krystal Hartog, Jenna Hlewka, Cyril Kaderabek, Quintin Laschuk, Eric Lastiwka, Daniel Monaco, Rose Murawsky, Taylor Thomeus, Bianca Unrau, and Cassandra Walker.

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RULING THE ROOST– Out of the Bat Cave

This Lehigh Hanson Quarry Life award project involves the race to save Alberta Bats through the development of thermally stable and healthy roosts or bat houses. These roosts will be placed in locations that will augment spring and fall forays away from the cave hibernacula (overwintering locations) and potentially provide warm maternal roosting locations. This project is a natural extension of numerous years of data collection and research related to bat hibernacula locations in Western...

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