Bat Diseases & Parasites

Like all species, whether wild or domestic, bats have their own suite of parasites and diseases that live inside or on the outside of individual bats or are found in association with bats.

Bats and the Spread of Disease

Despite a bad reputation, bats generally do not have any more or any fewer diseases than other wild species. The bad rep comes from the association with vampire bats (Desmodontinae), which, of course, we do not have in Alberta.

The prevalence of diseases in bats in Alberta is extremely low and any risks to humans easily can be avoided. Although bats should be handled with caution, the widespread eradication of bats to eliminate a human health hazard is thoroughly unjustified in Alberta.

Additional information about human health concerns in association with bats is provided at

White-nose Syndrome and Bat Health

There are few diseases or parasites of bats in North America that threaten the health of bat populations. White-nose syndrome is an exception.

White-nose Syndrome is a cold-loving fungus that grows in caves and transfers onto wintering bats. It is associated with the death of many, many thousands of bats in eastern North America, prompting preventative measures to be adopted in the Province of Alberta and elsewhere in the west.

Related Information

  • Bats
    Information about Alberta’s bat species.
  • Human-Wildlife Conflict: Bats
    Information from Alberta’s Fish and Wildlife Officers about how to reduce conflicts between bats and humans.

 

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Updated: Oct 19, 2015