• A hoary bat roosting on the branch of a tree. (Photo: Paul Cryan, U.S. Geological Survey/Wikimedia Commons)
    A hoary bat roosting on the branch of a tree. (Photo: Paul Cryan, U.S. Geological Survey/Wikimedia Commons)

Canada, the United States and Mexico have for the first time formally agreed to work together to protect migratory bats, paving the way for increased coordination of and cooperation in conservation efforts across North America.

“This is a historic day for North American bats as they face threats far greater and widespread than they ever have before,” Mylea Bayless, the senior director for US/Canada Conservation with Bat Conservation International, said in a news release about the agreement, which was signed on on April 16 at the annual meeting of the Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management, in San Diego, Calif. In the same release, it was noted that the agreement would “allow further development of rigorous, coordinated population monitoring programs for bats such as the North American Bat Monitoring Program.”

Several bat species in all three countries face a variety of threats, including pesticides, habitat destruction, wind turbines and the fatal white-nose syndrome, a type of fungal disease that’s estimated to have killed more than 6 million bats since 2006. In Canada, species of migratory bats include the red bat, the hoary bat and the silver-haired bat.