|Myotis septentrionalis, northern myotis (Vespertilionidae) with growth of Geomyces destructans clearly evident. LaSalle County, Illinois. January 2013. Photo credit: University of Illinois/Steve Taylor|
For the first time, the U.S., Mexico and Canada have formally agreed to increase coordination and cooperation across North America to conserve bat species.
Although the three countries have worked together for almost 80 years under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, no formal agreement is in place for bats.
Bat Conservation International reports that rrepresentatives from the three countries signed the "Letter of Intent Related to Efforts to Promote Conservation of Bats in the United Mexican States, the United States of America and Canada" Thursday, April 16, at the annual meeting of the Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management.
The agreement will allow conservation efforts to cross international boundaries as scientists, wildlife managers and conservationists alike try to address some of the most pressing threats bat species face in North America today.
Bats don't always find a sympathetic ear.
"This is a historic day for North American bats as they face threats far greater and widespread than ever before. Continental collaborations are more important than ever as white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that disease that has killed over six million bats since 2006, continues to move across political boundaries devastating bat populations in its wake" said Mylea Bayless, BCI senior director for US/Canada Conservation.
BCI noted that the timing of the agreement couldn't be better, with April 17 being Bat Appreciation Day across North America.
Bats are increasingly appreciated for what they do for the environment and for us, including providing more than $3.7 billion in pest control for crops and forests annually.
Learn more at the Bat Conservation International website.
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