This red bat was an unexpected visitor to the Deep Panuke platform, located about 250 km offshore from Halifax. After staying about a week, the female bat was safely placed in a box and returned to woodlands in Nova Scotia for successful release.
Workers on the Deep Panuke platform offshore Nova Scotia had a rare visitor when a Red bat stopped by and made itself at home.
The bat, a species that regularly occurs in Nova Scotia but is seldom seen, stayed for a week last fall underneath a set of stairs on one of the platform’s outside decks.
The sighting was reported to Environment Canada and the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources (NSDNR), who initially advised to leave the healthy female bat alone.
When the bat did not leave on its own, concerned staff on the platform contacted NSDNR who recommended that the bat be sent to shore. The bat was safely collected in a small, lidded box with breathing holes and flown to shore on one of the regular helicopter flights and delivered to NSDNR’s office in Waverley, NS.
The bat was released in a thick, mixed wood stand near Powder Mill Lake in Halifax County. The bat, which was in good condition, immediately flew upwards above the tree line and out of sight.
In keeping with Encana’s commitment to environmental stewardship in our operations, we have protocols for interactions with birds and mammals at the Deep Panuke platform. These protocols have been approved by the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board.
A long-distance oceanic migratory species. Red bats have distinctive bright red to rusty-red fur. The bats have long migrations over ocean from Nova Scotia to Cape May, New Jersey and points further south. Today, only 25-30 specimens are known from Nova Scotia. Records indicate coastal islands are the most common point of origin. A few Red bats have been recorded on Sable Island (located approximately 50 km east of the Deep Panuke platform). All were 'day trippers' during the migration season in late summer and early fall. [Information courtesy of NSDNR]