Nature PEI Annual General Meeting
With guest speaker Darrian Washinger
Nature PEI is holding their next monthly meeting on November 7 at 7:30 pm at Beaconsfield Carriage House. The meeting will feature guest speaker, Darrian Washinger, an Atlantic Bat Conservation Project technician with the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative based at the Atlantic Veterinary College. Darrian will go over some bat basics, discuss bat ecology, and share an update on PEI’s bat populations. Admission is free and all are welcome to attend.
Darrian graduated with a Master of Science from Memorial University. Her thesis focused on bat activity in various habitats and was entitled “Influence of forest disturbances on summer foraging activity of boreal bats at three spatial scales”. Darrian has been with the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, Atlantic Region since 2022. She is the regional coordinator for the North American Bat Monitoring Program, which aims to provide support to people conducting bat monitoring in the region, and she operates the Atlantic Bat Hotline. Overwintering bat populations in Atlantic Canada have faced up to a 99% reduction since the introduction of white nose syndrome. White nose syndrome is a fungal disease that causes bats to wake during hibernation and leave their shelter in search of food. This results in death from exposure to cold temperatures. White nose syndrome was first detected in PEI in the winter of 2012-13. The Atlantic Bat Conservation Project is an initiative of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative. The project is focused on white nose syndrome and bat health surveillance, assisting landowners to manage bats in buildings, gathering public reports through the bat hotline, training governmental and non-governmental organizations to develop the North American Bat Monitoring Program in all four Atlantic provinces, and collaborating with researchers from various academic institutions.