DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife advises that bat pupping season is approaching

Prepare your home and buildings before bats take up residence

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife reminds the public that Delaware is home to nine species of bats, all of which have begun or will soon begin their annual move from winter sites to their summer maternity colonies. Female bats return to colonies pregnant and congregate to give birth and raise their pups. In Delaware, these colonies can often take up residence in homes, garages, attics, and barns.

Even though bats play an important role in our ecosystem to include controlling insects, sometimes they can be unwanted visitors to homes and outbuildings. If you or someone you know previously had bats roosting in an undesirable location, a bat exclusion barrier to prevent bats from entering the building may be warranted. It is crucial that bat exclusions be completed by May 15 before female bats start giving birth, to prevent trapping flightless young bats inside the building and permanently separating the female from their pups, which cannot survive on their own.

More information can be found on the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s webpage, including a list of permitted Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators, who can install bat exclusions, and recommended “Best Management Practices” for excluding bats as listed on the Bat Program Page under “Bats in Buildings.” For more information, please call the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife Section at 302-735-3600.

Follow the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 92


DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife awarded federal grant to continue response to white-nose syndrome in state’s bats

Photo: A big brown bat hangs on a brick wall at Fort Delaware. Photo by Holly Niederriter.

DOVER – In recognition of International Bat Week, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced that it has been awarded a federal grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to support Delaware’s ongoing response to the deadly white-nose syndrome (WNS). The grant will help Delaware continue to monitor the state’s bat populations and work with the public to limit the spread of WNS, which has taken a severe toll on North American bat species since it was discovered 11 years ago.

Characterized by a white fungus visible on a bat’s nose, wings, tail, and ears, WNS is transmitted primarily by contact between bats. Since first discovered in New York State in the winter of 2006-2007, WNS has spread at an alarming rate and is now confirmed in 33 states and seven Canadian provinces, including Delaware. According to the USFWS, WNS has caused the death of 5.7 to 6.7 million bats in North America. Delaware’s first WNS-related bat deaths were confirmed in 2012 among bats hibernating in cave-like conditions in Fort Delaware and Fort DuPont in New Castle County.

Only bat species that hibernate are known to be affected by WNS, including such species as the little brown, big brown, tri-colored, northern long-eared, and eastern small-footed bats – all found in Delaware. The northern long-eared and little brown bats are among the most severely impacted by WNS. Because of dramatic population declines, the northern long-eared and little brown bats were added to Delaware’s list of endangered species in 2014, and the northern long-eared bat was listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act in May 2015.

Bats are important to Delaware’s ecology, feeding on millions of insects, including mosquitoes, beetles, moths, and agricultural pests, and in so doing, also helping ward off potential threats to public health and the food supply.

The 2018 grant marks the ninth year that the Division of Fish & Wildlife has received funding from the USFWS’s Endangered Species and Science Applications programs to help fight WNS, with this year’s funding totaling $15,785. Delaware’s grant was part of $1 million in funding for natural resource agencies in 39 states and the District of Columbia.

For more information on bats in Delaware, please visit http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/bats and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DelawareBatProgram/.

To report a bat colony or unusual bat behavior, please call 302-735-3600.

Follow the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 48, No. 303

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DNREC seeking volunteers to help monitor state’s bat population; Division of Fish & Wildlife offers training in Smyrna Thursday, May 3 for annual Bat Count

The logo for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental ControlDOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife is seeking volunteers to help locate bat roosts and to count bats in Delaware as the bats exit their day-time resting areas. Training for “bat spotting” will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 3 at DNREC’s Aquatic Resources Education Center (AREC) located at 2520 Lighthouse Road, Smyrna, DE 19977. Both new and experienced volunteers are welcome.

Bats are important to Delaware’s ecology, feeding on millions of insects, including mosquitoes, beetles, moths and agricultural pests. A nationwide study in Science magazine noted that bats are among the most economically valuable wildlife to farmers, saving them at least $3.7 billion annually by reducing the amount of pesticides needed for crop protection.

Volunteer-based surveys provide the Division of Fish & Wildlife with important scientific information used to monitor and manage the nine species of bats found in Delaware, such as changes in adult bat numbers and how many young are surviving to flight age. After training, volunteers will adopt a known bat colony and commit to counting the number of bats within their adopted colony at least twice this summer. An RSVP to attend the training is requested by emailing Katelyn Rembecki at katelyn.rembecki@delaware.gov or by calling 302-735-8674.

Learn more about the Delaware Bat Program on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DelawareBatProgram/ or at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/bats/.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 48, No. 103

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As bat pupping season approaches, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife reminds residents to prepare homes and buildings on property before bats take up residence

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife reminds the public that Delaware’s bat population is on the move as the bats’ pupping season approaches – and that some bats might move into places where they may not be welcomed.

The state is home to nine species of bats, all of which have begun their annual move from winter hibernation sites to their summer maternity colonies. The female bats return to their colonies pregnant and congregate to give birth and raise their pups. In Delaware, these colonies can often take up residence in barns, garages, attics and homes.

The Division of Fish & Wildlife notes that while bats play an important role in our ecosystem, sometimes they can be unwanted visitors to residents’ homes and outbuildings. If you or someone you know has or has had bats roosting in an undesirable location, a bat exclusion from the building where the bats have taken up residence may be warranted.

As the pupping season starts, it is crucial that bat exclusions be completed before May 15, when female bats start giving birth, in order to prevent trapping flightless young inside the building and permanently separating maternal bats from their pups, which cannot survive on their own. For a list of permitted Wildlife Control Operators who can conduct bat exclusions please visit https://apps.dnrec.state.de.us/NuisanceWildlife/Search.aspx. To review the “Best Management Practices” for excluding bats, pages visit Fish & Wildlife’s Bat Program webpage and click Bats in Buildings.

Find out more about the Delaware Bat program on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DelawareBatProgram/

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 48, No. 102


DNREC awarded federal grant to support Delaware’s research, monitoring and response to White-nose Syndrome in state’s bats

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife has been awarded a federal grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to support Delaware’s ongoing research and monitoring and response to the deadly White-nose Syndrome (WNS), that has taken a severe toll on hibernating North American bat species since it was discovered 10 years ago.

Characterized by a white fungus visible on a bat’s nose, wings, tail and ears, WNS is transmitted primarily by contact between bats. Since first discovered in New York in the winter of 2006-2007, WNS has spread at an alarming rate and is now confirmed in 31 states and five Canadian provinces. According to the USFWS, WNS has caused the death of 5.7 to 6.7 million bats in North America. In Delaware, WNS-related deaths were first confirmed in 2012 among bats hibernating in cave-like conditions in Fort Delaware and Fort DuPont in New Castle County.

The 2017 grant marks the eighth year that DNREC has received funding from the USFWS’s Endangered Species Recovery and Science Applications programs to help fight the disease, with this year’s funding totaling $16,098. Delaware’s grant was part of more than $1 million in funding for natural resource agencies in 37 states and the District of Columbia.

“Bats are important to Delaware’s ecology, feeding on millions of insects, including mosquitoes, beetles, moths and agricultural pests, and in so doing, also helping us ward off potential threats to public health and the food supply,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Now we are working to help bats recover from WNS. Since 2009, DNREC has been monitoring the state’s bat populations and working with the public to limit the spread of WNS. Thanks to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service funding, we can continue strengthening our response to this devastating disease.”

Only bat species that hibernate are known to be affected by WNS, including such species as the little brown, big brown, tri-colored, northern long-eared, and eastern small-footed bats – all found in Delaware. The northern long-eared and little brown bats are among the most severely impacted by WNS. Because of these bats’ dramatic population declines, the northern long-eared and little brown bats were added to Delaware’s list of endangered species in 2014, and the northern long-eared bat was listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act in May 2015.

For more information on bats in Delaware, please visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/bats. To report a bat colony or unusual bat behavior, please call 302-735-3600.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

Vol. 47, No. 233

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