For the 70+ night hikers, they were an exciting discovery. Five different bat species, including the Tri-coloured bat and Little Brown bat, Endangered Species in Ontario, were detected during the Bat Walks hosted by Otonabee Conservation.
Local Bat expert, Chris Ketola, who led the night hikes at the Warsaw Caves Conservation Area and Campground and Beavermead Campground, was able to detect the presence of the Little Brown bat, Big Brown bat, Hoary bat, Silvered-haired bat and the Tri-coloured bat.
Tri-colored bats (formerly known as the Eastern Pipestrelle) and Little Brown bats are listed as Endangered Species in Ontario. Both species are threatened by a disease known as white nose syndrome which is caused by the introduced fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans. Ketola remarked that of all the surveys he had done this summer, he only recorded the presence of the Tri-coloured bat in Peterborough.
The presence of bat species is conducted using a bat detector. Bats use high frequency calls normally beyond the range of human hearing to build up a sound picture of their surroundings. This echolocation system enables them to wing their way through the dark night hunting the tiniest of insects. A bat detector makes these echolocation calls audible to humans – and because different bat species hunt different prey and are different sizes, they make different calls which can help identify them.
The night Bat Walks were featured events during the 2017 Discovery Days program of Otonabee Conservation.
Further information about the Little Brown bat may be found HERE
Further information about the Tri-colured bat may be found HERE