If bats infest a person’s home or property, a person might be inclined to harm the animals or try to remove them. However, it is illegal to kill a bat, and it is unadvisable to attempt removal yourself. Under Ontario’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, bats are considered Specially Protected Mammals which means they should not be killed, hunted, or trapped.
Here are the reasons bats are legally protected:
Bats are endangered species
Many species of bats around the world are in grave danger of becoming extinct because of white-nose syndrome (WNS). This emerging disease has killed millions of bats in the United States and Canada. The condition is caused by distinctive fungal growth around the muzzles and on the wings of hibernating bats. Human activity (such as timber harvesting and land clearing) that destroys natural habitats has also contributed to bat endangerment.
The Canadian Government lists three three species of bats as endangered due to WNS. These are:
- Little Brown Myotis
- Tri-coloured bat
- Northern Myotis
There is no known treatment for, or means of preventing transmission of WNS. This disease has caused some bat species to decline by more than 90%.
They are pollinators
Pollination is the process of moving pollen grains from the stamen (male reproductive organ) of the flower to the pistil (female reproductive organ) of another flower. Like bees, bats are also pollinators. Some smaller bats feed on pollen and flower nectar. Most flowering plants cannot produce seeds and fruit without pollination. As bats feed on these flowers, they pick up the pollen grains and move them to other flowers. Some of the fruit that depends on bat pollinators are guavas, avocados, mangos, peaches, bananas, and cloves.
Due to agricultural, industrial, and urban expansion, many tropical forests are threatened by deforestation. Fruit-eating bats are key players in reforestation because of their ability to disperse seeds to degraded areas. Bats disperse a larger amount of seeds per species than birds. Fearing predators, birds are wary of flying in open spaces. Bats are more willing to cross clearings and fly large distances each night as they disperse seeds. They help the growth of cashews figs, avocado, and dates – among many other plants.
Bats perform vital pest control. The bats found in Ontario are mostly insect-eaters. A single brown bat, for instance, can eat 1,000 – 5,000 flying insects in an hour. They not only devour flying insects; they also pluck cucumber beetles, stink bugs, earworms, and tomato hornworms from your garden.
Bats can sometimes cause a nuisance, but they are protected under the law and help maintain a balanced ecosystem. If you find bats in your attic, do not attempt to remove them by yourself. The best thing you can do is to call a company that provides bat removal services.
Liddle Rascals Wildlife Control provides humane solutions and safe bat removal around Toronto. We can move them to the habitats where they belong. Call us at (416) 356-5886 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .