North America
Cadomin (Alberta)
Quarry Life Award 2018

Ruling the Roost

Biodiversity management
Collaboration programmes
Education and raising awareness
Rehabilitation & habitat research
Species research

Bats are enigmatic species with a voracious appetite for insect pests, saving billions of dollars per year by enhancing agriculture and forest productivity. This is significant when considering the long lifespan and low fecundity of the Little Brown Myotis, Myotis lucifugus (MYLU). COSEWIC reported Canada as representing ~50% of the global range of MYLU before the arrival of White Nose Syndrome (WNS). Since then, COSEWIC cites a >90% decline of infected MYLU hibernacula in eastern Canada. In 2016 WNS was recorded in Washington State.

The Lehigh Hanson Cadomin Quarry is in an ideal location to provide enhanced biodiversity management on site for two federally endangered species; MYLU and Northern Myotis, Myotis septentrionalis (MYSE). Healthy artificial roosts support population recovery, and promote a first defense in building adequate fat reserves that assist in overwintering survival. With options that stabilize thermal cycling throughout the roosting period, behavioral thermoregulation lessens, resulting in healthier bats that may survive additional waking periods linked to WNS.

We will design, engineer, and test bat houses to optimize spring and summer thermal regulation. Classic bat houses will be tested against our prototypes in an environmental chamber. Finally, we will establish bat houses on the quarry lease to field-test our designs. This project will position Lehigh Hanson as a leader in providing suitable roosting habitat for the endangered Myotis species.