Bats in the barn? A new rule in New Hampshire says that they can’t be removed between May 15 and August 15, when bats are typically raising their young. If a bat has tested positive for rabies, then special permission to exclude the bats will be given.
The rule only applies to unoccupied structures.
“This rule helps protect our remaining bat populations during the time when they are raising young,” said New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program biologist Emily Brunkhurst in a department press release. “While this measure is certainly helpful, we strongly urge people to avoid evicting bats from any structure, occupied or otherwise, during the summer months. Our bats are in big trouble, and, this is something concrete you can do to help them survive.”
The problem, of course, is white nose syndrome, which has reduced the populations of five out of New Hampshire’s eight bat species. Little brown bat populations have declined 99 percent, the release says.
The press release also notes that white nose syndrome has been detected in Rockingham County, in the southeastern corner of the state, near Boston, Mass.
The press release includes many interesting details about white nose syndrome in NH, and is worth reading just for that. Read it here.
Photo: Long-eared bats have been hit hard by WNS in New Hampshire. Courtesy New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.