Halloween great time to join BC community bat program

Community Bat projects across the province are hosting talks and events in association with Bat Week.

  • Oct. 27, 2017 10:55 a.m.

Options for encouraging healthy bat populations include preserving wildlife trees and wetlands, reducing pesticide use, or building and installing a bat house. Image submitted.

Mandy Kellner

Special to the Tribune/Advisor

As Halloween approaches, images of scary, blood-sucking bats become common place.

This is the perfect time of year to join with the BC Community Bat Program to counter these bat myths and do something to help bats.

“The conservation of bats in B.C. has always been important, since over half the species in this province are considered at risk,” says Mandy Kellner, co-ordinator for the BC Community Bat Program. “However, with the discovery of White-nose Syndrome in Washington State, bat conservation is more important than ever.”

White-nose Syndrome (WNS) is a disease caused by an introduced fungus, first detected in North America in a cave in New York in 2006.

Since it was discovered, it has spread to 31 states and 5 provinces in North America, decimating bat populations along the way.

“Luckily, WNS is not yet in B.C.,” continues Kellner. “But we are preparing for its arrival by raising awareness about bats, working with landowners who have bats in buildings, enhancing bat habitat, and monitoring populations.”

Community Bat projects across the province are hosting talks and events in association with Bat Week (October 24 – 31) to provide information and guidance on ways to help bats.

Contact your local bat project to learn about events in your area. Monitoring for WNS will continue this winter, with the Community Bat Program requesting reports of dead bats or sightings of winter bat activity. You can report winter sightings at www.bcbats.ca or call 1-855-922-2287.

Options for encouraging healthy bat populations include preserving wildlife trees and wetlands, reducing pesticide use, or building and installing a bat house.

With the decline of natural roost sites, some bat species have adapted to using human-made structures, such as bat-houses. These small boxes have several crevices inside that provide a safe, dry habitat where bats can roost during summer months. “Bat-houses are particularly important for maternity colonies where groups of female bats roost together to have their pup during the summer” states Kellner. “A well-designed bat-house installed in a good location can provide a home for hundreds of bats.”

In partnership with the BC Ministry of Environment, and funded by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and Habitat Stewardship Program, the BC Community Bat Program provides information about bats in buildings, conducts site visits to advise landowners on managing bats in buildings, coordinates the Annual Bat Count, and offers educational programs on bats. To find out more about the BC Community Bat Program, or download bat-house plans, visit www.bcbats.ca or call or 1-855-922-2287.

Mandy Kellner is the provincial lead on the BC Community Bat Program.

Just Posted

New Performances in the Park organizer needed for 2020

Are you interested in taking over this popular community event?

CRD estimates 47 properties impacted by flooding in Chilcotin

Ministry of Agriculture visits producers impacted

Williams Lake Cycling Club hosts mountain bike film Thursday evening, July 18

Doors open at 6 p.m., the show Return to Earth starts at 7 p.m.

Chiefs honour Tsilhqot’in leader wrongfully hanged in B.C. 154 years ago today

Chief Joe Alphonse says they want his remains returned to his homeland in B.C.’s Cariboo region

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Two toddler siblings found drowned on First Nation in Alberta

The siblings were found drowned on their family’s property, according to RCMP

Most Read