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Bird and Bat Hazard Awareness. Safety and Environmental Management 581-4055. MTM095 Aug 4, 2004. Goal. To introduce you to some of the common concerns related to birds and bats. The Culprits. Bats. Pigeons. The Problem. Both birds and bats inhabit: Trees Buildings

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Bird and Bat Hazard Awareness

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bird and bat hazard awareness
Bird and BatHazard Awareness

Safety and Environmental Management



Aug 4, 2004

  • To introduce you to some of the common concerns related to birds and bats
the culprits
The Culprits



the problem
The Problem
  • Both birds and bats inhabit:
    • Trees
    • Buildings
    • Other structures on campus
  • Everyday we interact with these animals in a harmonious manner
  • Both bats and birds play an important role in helping to maintain a balanced ecosystem
    • Bats reduce the amount of insects in an area
    • Pigeons eat our litter and weed seeds
health hazards bats and birds
Health Hazards ~ Bats and Birds
  • Typically, the potential occurs when bat or bird populations have increased interaction with humans and their daily work area
  • People are already aware of some of the hazards associated with certain animals, but overlook those related to birds
  • Most common found at UMaine is the Little Brown Bat (at right)
    • In summer the Little Brown Bat inhabits trees, old buildings and attics
health hazards bats and bat droppings
Health Hazards ~ Bats and Bat Droppings
  • Rabies: We do not want anyone to come into direct contact with bats or bat droppings
  • Everyone is probably aware that bats can carry the rabies virus, however, there are NO cases in Maine of the transmittal of rabies from NON-physical contact
  • Histoplasmosis: a disease caused by the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum (which occurs naturally in soil).
    • Its symptoms vary greatly, but the disease primarily affect the lungs.
    • Occasionally, other organs are affected. This form of the disease is called disseminated histoplasmosis, and it can be fatal if untreated.
  • Histoplasmosis: Can be attributed to contact with bats or large accumulations of bat droppings and/or inhalation of spores
    • Key to control is recognition, isolation and cleaning
    • Although the disease is rare, it can occur, however it is usually restricted to those with weakened immune systems
    • No significant health risk is present at UMaine, granted precautions are taken
bats what to do
Bats ~ What to do
  • Do not attempt to catch, touch or remove bats
  • Do not attempt to clean up bat droppings
  • If you’ve been exposed to a bat (physical contact such as a bite or scratch), or suspect exposure (i.e. an unattended or sleeping child)
    • Isolate the bat by closing the windows/doors to the room
    • Contact Facilities Management Department at 581-4400
  • The FM group will send qualified personnel to remove the hazard
  • The University of Maine has a large and diverse population of birds
  • The most significant hazards are related to large accumulation of bird droppings
birds health hazards
Birds ~ Health Hazards
  • Cryptococcus: Cryptococcosis is a fungal disease caused by Cryptococcus neoformans (which also occurs naturally in soil).
    • Cryptococcosis can cause serious symptoms of brain and spinal cord disease, such as headaches, dizziness, sleepiness, and confusion.
    • Generally affects those with a weakened immune system
  • Psittacosis: bacteria, which is only found in bird droppings and secretions is not associated with bats or soil
  • Safety Hazards
    • In large accumulation droppings can present slip and trip hazards on steps, ladders, work surfaces, etc.
birds safety controls
Birds ~ Safety Controls
  • The key is to recognize the hazards of bird droppings early before they become a true hazard
  • Do not attempt to catch, touch or remove birds
  • Do not attempt to clean up bird droppings
  • Isolate the area and contact the Facilities Management Department at 581-4400
  • The FM group will send qualified personnel to remove the hazard
responsibilities birds and bats
Responsibilities~ Birds and Bats
  • In general, it is each supervisor’s responsibility to train their workers on the potential hazards of birds and bats
  • Maintenance personnel that happen to enter an area where large amounts of droppings are present should not perform cleanup or control such situations, unless they have been properly trained
  • The department that is assigned the space is responsible to contact Facilities Management for cleanup and control measures prior to personnel entering the area
what s next
What’s Next?
  • If you have additional questions regarding health conditions that may be of concern, you should contact your primary care physician for guidance
  • Further questions in this area should be directed to the UMaine Human Resources Department