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This release was issued under a previous government.
Since 2010, Cadomin and Wapiabi caves have been closed to the public. The Alberta government is extending this closure in order to protect this critical hibernation site for bats.
“Bats play an important role in maintaining balance in our environment. While White-nose Syndrome has not yet reached Alberta, data shows the disease is making its way westward across the country. These closures help protect our sensitive bat population by reducing the risk of exposure to disease.”
Government will assess the risk to the province’s bat population again in five years, or earlier if there is definitive evidence to support re-opening or limited use of the caves.
White-nose syndrome is a fungal disease that has killed more than one million bats in caves and mines in the northeastern United States. The disease has recently spread, causing high bat mortalities in Ontario and Quebec. All cave-roosting bats across North America may be at risk. Mortality at affected sites often exceeds 90 per cent.