Maintain reproductive habitat in forested landscapes for endangered bats.
Conduct research and monitoring on the presence of maternal tree roosts for Little Brown Myotis along the Highway 69 corridor
Mark, map and describe nearly 2000 potential bat maternal roosts in a forested landscape that was scheduled for clearing for the new Highway 69 corridor using the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s (MNRF) current bat survey protocol. Following the tree cutting, an assessment was done on all marked trees to determine how well the survey protocol predicted an actual bat maternal roost.
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation contracted FRi Ecological Services to conduct this research authorized by a permit under Section 17(2)(b) of the Endangered Species Act (2007) in consultation with MNRF.
Develop a revised and improved bat survey protocol that is more practical than the current one that can then be applied to the remaining Highway 69 corridor to be constructed stretching from the junction with Highway 522 southerly to the junction of Highway 559. This will enable the Ministry of Transportation to obtain and Overall Benefit Permit under Section 17(2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act (2007) for the remainder of the corridor to be constructed.
FRi Ecological Services analyzed the data associated with the large sample of potential bat maternal roosts and determined that none of the potential roosts were actual roosts indicating that the current survey protocol was inadequate and labour intensive to conduct.
Additional research is currently underway to address the roosting requirements of all of the endangered bat species to develop a comprehensive survey protocol that can not only be used for highway projects but other development projects as well to ensure critical bat habitat is adequately protected.