Wankinquoah Junior Associates Species Spotlight: Little brown bat

Wankinquoah Junior Associates Species Spotlight: Little brown bat

For the year 2023 the Wankinquoah Junior Associates have chosen to adopt the Little Brown Bat as our conservation project. In Massachusetts the little brown bat has seen significant declines in population due to the white nose syndrome ( WNS ).

As a result of the devastating mortality that has resulted from WNS in Massachusetts, all 4 of our bat species that spend the winters in caves or mines have been listed as endangered on the Massachusetts Endangered Species List. This includes the little brown bat, which used to be the most abundant and widespread bat species in Massachusetts. Since the onset of WNS in Massachusetts, the state’s population of little brown bats has dwindled to less than 1% of what it once was. The other species are the northern long-eared bat, eastern small-footed bat, and tricolored bat (formerly known as the eastern pipistrelle). The Indiana Bat was already listed as endangered as a result of impacts from the pesticide DDT, and was last seen in the Chester mine in 1939. The only 2 Massachusetts bats that have summer colonies in houses are the little brown bat and the big brown bat. Most of the little brown bat colonies are now gone.

Other threats to bats include climate change, wind turbines, pesticide use, habitat loss, and fear.

Bats are one of the most misunderstood animals, and this can cause people to harm bats and their habitats.

These factors combined with their slow reproductive rates cause recovery from population declines to be incredibly slow and make bats extremely vulnerable to extinction.

The Wankinquoah Junior Associates are making bat houses to help the species.

The Associates are building 40 bat houses to sell for 25.00 each. The money raised by the sales of the houses will be donated to the Natural Heritage Endangered Species Program here in Massachusetts.

Junior Associate Members are designing posters to get the word out about the myths and the facts about the little brown bat. Sharing information about how we can help the conservation of the species.

Wankinquoah will also be installing bat houses on our 400+ acre property to encourage bat habitat on our property.

May 23 2023 6:30 PM the Junior Associates will be hosting Jennifer Longsdorf Natural Heritage Trust Program Coordinator, of the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife.

Jennifer who is a bat specialist will be here to share her expertise and talk about the endangered bat species.

Dinner will be served $6.00