The purpose the Northern Bat Working Group (NBWG) is to share new information and knowledge among those working with bats in northern Canada and Alaska. Interest in bats in the north is increasing, and the working group is intended to connect bat workers across this vast region. The working group has not formalized a precise geographic region that encompasses “the north,” and welcomes participants from Alaska and northwestern Canada, including the northern boreal portions of western provinces and the Pacific coast, including Haida Gwaii. The NBWG is a largely informal group organized under the Western Bat Working Group. The group currently has 75 members; Marian Snively (Alaska Department of Fish and Game) and Jesika Reimer (Alaska Center for Conservation Science) serve as co-chairs.
In April 2012, Link Olson (UAM) and Karen Blejwas (ADF&G) organized a session entitled “Bat Ecology in Alaska – Assessing the Risk of White-nose Syndrome” at the meeting of the Alaska Chapter of the Wildlife Society in Anchorage, Alaska. Presentations by researchers from Alaska and Canada provided an excellent overview of the state of our knowledge about northern bats. In the afternoon, biologists and managers from Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and British Columbia gathered together for a working session. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to meet face-to-face and discuss the issues and challenges that are unique to northern bats. Tom Jung (Yukon) and Cori Lausen (British Columbia) encouraged the group to take the next step and form a Northern Bat Working Group – so we did!
For more information about the Northern Bat Working Group, please contact Marian Snively (marian.snively (at) alaska.gov) or Jesika Reimer (jpreimer (at) taigaresearch.com)