North American bat conservation: letter of intent

Official title: Letter of Intent related to efforts to promote Conservation of Bats in the United Mexican States, The United States of America, and Canada

Subject category:
Type of agreement / instrument:
Cooperative Arrangement
  • Signed by Canada: April 16, 2015.
  • Ongoing cooperative arrangement through a Letter of Intent.
Lead & partner departments:
Environment and Climate Change Canada
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Mexican Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
For further information:
Web links:
ECCC Inquiry Centre
Compendium edition:
July 2022
Reference #:

Plain language summary

Canada, USA and Mexico agreed to work together to conserve bats.

  • North America has more than 150 species of bats.
  • They eat billions of insects each year, including many crop pests.
  • Many bats are threatened by disease, loss of habitat or hitting wind turbines.
  • Three species are listed under the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as Endangered due largely to mortality associated with a fungal disease called White-Nose Syndrome.
  • The agreement outlines how the 3 countries will work together to monitor bat populations and address the threats that affect them.


To strengthen cooperation, coordination and information sharing related to the conservation and management of all bat species in Canada, the USA and Mexico.

Key elements

Enhanced communication and information exchange on issues related to bat conservation.

Improved continental scale monitoring to identify population trends of bats and generate information needed to set priorities and evaluate conservation actions.

Expected results

This agreement is expected to achieve common understanding of priority threats facing bats, to enhance monitoring programs for North American bats, and to promote more effective ways to address threats by sharing information among countries.

Canada’s involvement

Three species of bats (Little Brown Myotis, Northern Myotis, and Tricolored Bat) are listed as Endangered under the Species at Risk Act in Canada. Development of recovery strategies and implementation of action plans for these species will benefit from the agreement.

Canada appoints one of the co-chairs to the North American Bat Conservation Alliance (NABCA), an informal alliance established to support the goals of the agreement by promoting communication among entities in all three countries engaged in bat conservation.

Results / progress


NABCA, with support from all three countries, consulted with >200 bat biologists across North America to develop a regionally prioritized list of threats to North American bats.

A Wiki page has been developed to share information on strategies for addressing priority threats.

All three countries are preparing an assessment of the State of North America’s Bats.


A summary report on the results of the threats assessment is now in preparation for scientific publication.

Canada reports back on progress each year through the Trilateral Committee.


The North American Bat Conservation Alliance was formed in 2015, and engages many bat conservation experts throughout North America every year. The Steering Committee meets 3-5 times per year.

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