New Hampshire Officials Encourage Residents To Conduct 'Bat Counts'

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CONCORD, N.H. (WBZ NewsRadio) — It's that time of year again, when the bats get restless and begin to zoom and glide across the warm dusk skies of New England. But if you spot the flying mammals in New Hampshire, state officials want to know about it— the Fish and Game Department is asking residents to conduct "bat counts" this late spring and summer.

Residents that monitor the maternity colonies are helping biologists get an idea of how the bat populations are doing each year. Those who participate are asked to count the bats as they depart their summer roosting spots at dusk during the months of June and July.

Shawn Nadeau, Owner of New England Wildlife Control, tells WBZ's Shari Small that rising temperatures are bringing bats to the night's sky.

"It's our busy time right now— pretty much once the temperatures warm up to around the sixties they start coming out, once we start seeing insects in the air. They're highly valuable, they're our natural way of insect control [and] White-Nose fungus Syndrome has been depleting the populations greatly," Nadeau said.

White-Nose Syndrome is caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans, something that's been known to thrive in cold damp environments similar to the ones bats typically hibernate in. The fungus can grow on a bat's ears, muzzle, and wings, which are not only used for flying— but also regulate water and gas exchange, according to NHFGD.

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"Typically you find a large colony of bats in steeples or barns because people don't hang out in there as much, but they're in most attics. It's crucial to keep a count," Nadeau said.

WBZ's Shari Small (@ShariSmallNews) reports.

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