Winter Bats in Michigan:
Winter bats in Michigan are usually forced to hibernate due to lack of insects to eat during this time. Brown bats typically hibernate in caves and unused mines. Northern populations of bats enter hibernation in early September and end in mid-May. While southern populations enter in November and end mid-March. Little brown bats are true hibernators. Yet, during periods of warming during the winter, typically over 50 degrees, little brown bats emerge from their winter sleep to hunt. As insects have also emerged in response to the warmer conditions.
White Nose Syndrome:
Little brown bats are now at a higher threat due to white nose syndrome in eastern North America. White-nose syndrome is caused by the fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, which affects bats during hibernation. White nose syndrome is estimated to have killed more than 5.5 million bats in the Northeast and Canada. In some areas up to 90 or 100 percent of bats have died. Due to this many states have made special considerations with respect to the disease. This includes listing them as a sensitive or protected species. In Canada they are listed as an endangered species.
It is estimated that 94% of the population in the eastern half of the country has died over the last few years from white nose syndrome. In addition the disease is moving westward at a rate that may see them extinct within as little as 12 years. It is expected that the tri-colored bat will also be listed in a few years due to the same disease, and the northern long-eared bat has already been federally listed as threatened.
If you need help with any bat issues you may have please call Bat Specialists of Michigan. Were here to help! 248-800-4126