The University of Winnipeg



UWinnipeg Bat Lab seeks superhero citizen scientists!

WINNIPEG, MB – UWinnipeg’s Bat Lab, led by Associate Professor Dr. Craig K. R. Willis, (aka UWinnipeg’s Batman) is encouraging the public to get involved in the protection of Canadian bats. Bats in Canada are in danger because of an infectious disease known as white-nose syndrome (WNS), which has killed millions of bats in eastern North America since it was accidentally introduced to North America less than 10 years ago.

brown bats with white-nose syndrome

brown bats with white-nose syndrome, photo courtesy of science daily

Bats play a crucial ecological role by eating night-flying insects and the spreading threat from WNS makes their conservation more important than ever.

The UWinnipeg Bat Lab is asking members of the public to help protect bats in two new ways. Superhero Citizen Scientists can be essential contributors to bat conservation, as even common species of bats are difficult to find and count, making protection difficult. Funding for research is also urgently needed.

Join the ‘Neighbourhood Bat Watch’ team.

UWinnipeg’s Bat Lab is recruiting citizen ‘scientists’ from across Manitoba and Ontario to join the Neighbourhood Bat Watch and report the locations and sizes of summer colonies of bats, contributing to a critical first step in the conservation of bats in North America. Citizens can visit the Neighbourhood Batwatch website at  to learn information about bats in central Canada, register a colony on their property, and learn how to enter their own scientific data.

Contribute to research!

Your tax-deductible donations can help save bats from WNS. Dr. Willis and his team at UWinnipeg have found preliminary evidence that artificially heated bat houses could increase survival and reproductive rates for the few bats that survive the winter with WNS. They have received partial funding for the project from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Species at Risk Research Fund of Ontario, but more help is needed to support students working on this ambitious project.

To do your part, please visit the team’s crowdfunding page at Bat Lab,where you can also see a short video and description of the project. You can also help by sharing the project on social media through the crowdfunding page. If you have any questions please email

Media Contact