Best management practices for bats in British Columbia : mine developments and inactive mine habitats Holroyd, Susan; Craig, Vanessa Joy; Govindarajulu, Purnima
British Columbia has the highest diversity of bat species in Canada (16 of 19 species). Many are of conservation concern due to threats from urban, agricultural, and industrial development; and the emerging threat of White-nose Syndrome, which has recently arrived in western North America. Mines are an important habitat feature for bats in the province, used by bats for hibernating in winter, roosting in summer, and reproductive swarming in autumn. Although closing or re-opening inactive mines can kill bats or degrade habitat, properly managed mines can maintain suitable habitat, which supports bat conservation and population recovery initiatives. Best management practices (BMPs) play an important role in the joint stewardship model of natural resource management. In April 2016, the B.C. Ministry of Environment, in consultation with the Ministry of Energy and Mines, posted best management practices for bats and bat habitats (http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/BMP/bmpintro.html#second). The chapter on mining provides guidance on surveys, seasonal timing windows, buffers, and closure techniques to help minimize and mitigate the effects of mining activities on bats and their habitats. This paper provides an overview of some of the recommendations in the chapter, focusing on procedures when closing or re-opening mines.
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