WNS Workshop Participants- [PHOTO CREDIT: MICHELLE JAUVIN – WNS WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS]
From October 16-18th I attended the first Canadian white-nose syndrome workshop organized by the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre.
The meeting took place in Ottawa and the purpose was to write an action plan for dealing with WNS in Canada. The meeting was attended by government staff, staff from non-government organizations, university professors, and museum staff involved with WNS/bat monitoring and/or research.
On the first day, meeting attendees sat in on the Canadian Wildlife Directors committee meeting. The goal was to inform them of the issue and how they might get involved. We were fortunate in having 2 USA attendees to present the USA approach to WNS management. The rest of the meeting involved breaking into smaller groups to work on different aspects of the Canadian plan. As well, the 3 labs in Canada involved in WNS research presented their findings to the National Wildlife Research Centre and the workshop attendees – I was one of these presenters!
The idea for this meeting was concocted at the annual WNS symposium in the US which I have been fortunate enough to attend for the last 2 years. The Canadian meeting was a success and a great deal of progress was made on writing the action plan. Even better, we were able to meet each other face-to-face, network and learn what everyone else was doing. WNS research being conducted in Canada is generally not well known among Canadians. Before this meeting, our only contact with each other was through periodic conference calls. I expect this meeting will result in better contact and collaboration between Canadian colleagues and will hopefully be repeated next year. Sharing information is critical as new information related to WNS becomes available.
Image Credit: New Brunswick Museum/Karen Vanderwolf