top of page

Last refuge

I’m developing a photo story on B.C.’s unique response to the deadly white nose syndrome plaguing bat populations. This long-term regional feature will encompass a series of brief shoots at various locations, with completion expected by the end of August.

In the past two decades, a devastating fungal infection has swept across North America, killing millions of bats, with mortality rates of up to 98% in affected colonies. Its detection in B.C. last April ended B.C.’s status as one of continent’s last refuges from the disease. Now, with infections mounting at the borders of Alberta and Washington State, a remarkable response has emerged from B.C.'s scientific community, creating a narrative of innovation and collaboration.

This feature will spotlight groundbreaking research from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), where scientists are using a natural probiotic cocktail to bolster bat immunity against the fungus. This unconventional, preventative approach has sparked global scientific interest. 

Concurrently, researchers at the University of British Columbia are racing to gather baseline data on healthy urban populations — a demographic long neglected in mainstream research. The team will feed relevant findings to their WCS peers, but the data will play its own critical role in understanding urban bat behaviour. These rare insights could prove invaluable when the fungus arrives in force, arming scientists with specific knowledge on how to help urban bats endure and recover.

Completing this story is the exhaustive public advocacy of one biologist aiming to debunk long-held misperceptions about bats and rally public support for their preservation. 

Overall, I see this story showcasing an all-hands-on-deck response to an imminent ecological crisis. The arrival of the fungus in BC marks the end of its unstoppable journey across Canada, but it also signifies a critical turning point.

 

This is a hopeful story that unifies diverse research initiatives of groundbreaking probiotic research, the exploration of neglected urban bat demographics and the drive to reshape public perceptions of bats. It’s my intention to underscore the need for community stewardship, where bat preservation is not just a scientific quest, but a neighbourhood-level imperative for ecosystem health.

Project Name

This is your Project description. Provide a brief summary to help visitors understand the context and background of your work. Click on "Edit Text" or double click on the text box to start.

Project Name

This is your Project description. Click on "Edit Text" or double click on the text box to start.

Project Name

This is your Project description. Provide a brief summary to help visitors understand the context and background of your work. Click on "Edit Text" or double click on the text box to start.

bottom of page