Residents in the province are being asked to report bat sightings during the winter months in an effort to keep on top of white-nose syndrome, a deadly bat disease that causes widespread mortality in hibernating bat species.
Several cases of white-nose syndrome, or WNS, have been confirmed in western Newfoundland since May 2017. WNS has decimated hibernating bats throughout the Maritimes and the northeastern US.
The Department of Fisheries and Land Resources says public reporting of dead or sick bats, or bats flying in the winter or early spring, is an effective way of tracking the disease. The public is also asked to report any locations where bats are known or suspected to be hibernating.
The public can call the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative toll free bat line, or the Department of Forestry.