Bat news from Canada


This video from Canada says about itself:

11 July 2013

Little Brown bats have been dying by the millions so it was a great suprise to be blessed with the discovery of a very healthy colony in Kemble, Ontario.

From the Vancouver Sun in Canada:

Researchers net rare Spotted bats near Lillooet

By Matthew Robinson

December 30, 2014

A team of biologists netted a rare find on a recent nighttime research mission near Lillooet when they captured a half-dozen spotted bats.

The bats are numbered among fewer than 20 ever caught in Canada, and are among an estimated population of fewer than 1,000 in the country, according to a news release by staff at the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program.

The scientists caught the winged mammals in a mist net — a nearly invisible, in-air mesh fence that biologists use to safely snag and tag birds and bats. The intention of the biologists’ work is to learn more about the ecology of Pallid, Spotted and other related bat species in the area before White Nose Syndrome — a deadly fungal disease sweeping westward through North America — reaches B.C.

“Finding six spotted bats in one night, and seven in total this field season, is beyond our expectations,” said Jared Hobbs, a biologist with research firm Hemmera.

Spotted bats are large, but they don’t weigh much. They have a wingspan of more than 30 centimetres, but weigh just 15 grams — about the weight of a compact disc. They have the biggest ears of any B.C. bat and are recognizable for the white spot on each of their shoulders and on their rump, according to the Government of Canada’s Species at Risk registry. The hunting calls of spotted bats can be heard by the human ear, according to the release.

Cori Lausen, who co-leads the project with Hobbs, said spotted bats are not easily captured. As a result, relatively little is known about the species.

The bats are so hard to capture that it was not until 1979 that biologists discovered the species lived in the province, according to the B.C. Ministry of Environment.

“These bats are high-flying, so we used mist nets that were four times the height of those typically used, measuring about 12.5 metres high by 18 metres wide, and we focused on open grassland habitats,” said Lausen.

After netting their subjects, the researchers glued radio telemetry tags onto the backs of the bats so they can track their foraging and roosting habits.

White Nose Syndrome has killed millions of hibernating bats since spreading from the northeastern to central U.S. and Canada, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Bat populations have declined by an estimated 80 per cent since the syndrome was first documented in winter 2006-07, according to the USGS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In some areas, 90 to 100 per cent of hibernating bat populations have died off as a result of the fungus.

The syndrome has not been detected in this province, but many biologists say it’s only a matter of time until it spreads.

The biologists’ work is being funded by the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, a partnership between BC Hydro, First Nations, the federal and provincial governments and others, according to the release. The project is one of eight in the Bridge and Seton River watersheds that are receiving funding from the program in 2014-15.

Western chorus frogs in Canada


This video from the USA says about itself:

Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata) calling in Illinois Beach State Park. There are thousands of this small but very vocal frogs but I had to spend a lot of time to actually see one of them. To record them the secret is to just leave the camera running and move away for 10 minutes.

From Bird Studies Canada:

The Western Chorus Frog is at risk of disappearing from parts of its range in Ontario. Its numbers have declined as much as 40% in some areas since the mid-1990s. Key causes are habitat loss and degradation -through urban sprawl and intensification of agriculture. Diseases, pollution, drainage, and climate change are also factors.

North American bird feeder webcams


This video from the USA is called Project FeederWatch Introduction.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Two FeederWatch Cams Now Online

As we near the beginning of the 2013 Project FeederWatch season, we’re excited to announce the re-launch of last year’s successful FeederWatch Cam in Manitouwadge, Ontario (watch now) alongside a brand new cam focused on the feeder birds here in Sapsucker Woods (view now). Both cams give you up-close and personal views of a diversity of birds. The Ontario cam features many winter finches that are difficult to see elsewhere like Pine Grosbeaks, Common and Hoary Redpolls, and Evening Grosbeaks, while the Sapsucker Woods cam includes birds of the Eastern deciduous forest like titmice, goldfinches, and woodpeckers (not to mention the ducks and geese cruising through the background on the pond). You can explore the most common species at each cam site by clicking on the “Species Info” tab beneath the livestream.

There’s still time to sign up for Project FeederWatch as well! Check out their new website with all the details about how you can play an important role in helping scientists learn about the habits of winter birds.

Canadian garden birds webcam


This video says about itself:

Bird feeder in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Small birds in HD.

May 2010, house finch, black capped chickadee, nuthatch, sparrow.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

New FeederWatch Cam

Our newest Bird Cam takes you to the well-stocked feeders of Tammie and Ben Hache in chilly Manitouwadge, Ontario, Canada, over 40 miles north of Lake Superior. The Haches invite you to look in on their rotating ensemble of winter birds, including redpolls, grosbeaks, nuthatches, jays, and even the occasional Ruffed Grouse. Each week the cam host posts her Project FeederWatch counts for the week and you can see whether she’s spotted something you missed. The cam is offline during the night (generally 7:00 P.M. to 7:00 A.M.)

Enjoy this addition to our Bird Cams, and marvel at the resilience of these winter birds, which seem to shrug off frigid temperatures. There’s also still time to sign up for this year’s Project FeederWatch season and start making your bird watching “count”! Watch the cam anytime between the hours of 7 A.M. and 7 P.M. Eastern time.

American ratsnakes and climate change


This video from the USA is called 6ft Black Rat Snake.

From ScienceDaily:

Global Warming Beneficial to Ratsnakes

Jan. 8, 2013 — Speculation about how animals will respond to climate change due to global warming led University of Illinois researcher Patrick Weatherhead and his students to conduct a study of ratsnakes at three different latitudesOntario, Illinois, and Texas. His findings suggest that ratsnakes will be able to adapt to the higher temperatures by becoming more active at night.

Saving Canadian turtles’ lives


The Sticky Tongue Project in Canada writes about this video:

New Video: Reptile Fencing: Reducing Road Mortality

Long Point Provincial Park (Ontario, Canada) is home to 19 species of turtles and snakes, of which 12 are listed as being Species at Risk. These reptiles frequently cross the road or bask on it for warmth within the park. Unfortunately, this puts them in danger and many are killed. The Long Point Basin Land Trust and Long Point Provincial Park worked together to make the park safer for these animals.

Reptile fencing has been installed in priority areas (750 meters on both sides of the road) where the highest levels of mortality were recorded. The fencing acts as a physical barrier to prevent reptiles from moving onto the roads and potentially being struck by vehicles.

Since the park is closed and vehicle entry is blocked for much of the year, park staff are able to create openings to let animals through from October through until May each year to allow seasonal movements. They are also exploring the possibility of creating a more permanent solution which could include underpasses.

Another very successful wildlife barrier, complete with underpasses has also been installed at Big Creek Mark by the Long Point Causeway Improvement Project. The installation of a third culvert is now underway.