Helping Kootenay bats hold on

Want to learn more about the unique world of bats? Do you want free mosquito control?

Want to learn more about the unique world of bats? Do you want free mosquito control? Whether you want to promote bats in your garden or need advice to safely evict them from a building, the Kootenay Community Bat Project (KCBP) can help.

The KCBP provides educational programs on bats, works with landowners who have bats in buildings, and promote the annual bat count to monitor bat populations.

Of the sixteen species of bats in B.C., over half are red or blue-listed, meaning that their populations are declining and they could become endangered. There are many threats to these amazing creatures of the night including habitat loss, intentional extermination (which is illegal under the BC Wildlife Act), wind farm development, and most recently, White Nose Syndrome — a devastating introduced fungus that has already killed approximately six million bats in North America. Basically, bats need all the help they can get.

Funded by the Columbia Basin Trust, the KCBP seeks information from the public on where bats roost, provides site visits and advice to residents with bats in buildings, and requests help from the public to act as Citizen Scientists to help count bat populations.

A local biologist can visit your property to assess your bat situation, identify the bat species, and provide you with information on safe evictions and bat-houses.

One of the areas of focus this year is on the B.C. Bat Count. Residents are encouraged to count bats leaving a roost site on their property for four nights in order to monitor populations.

This long-term monitoring information is very valuable since there is very little known about local bat species and their population numbers.

If you have bats living in your buildings, if you would like to join the B.C. Bat Count, or if you need information on how to build a bat-house, visit kootenaybats.com or call 1-855-9BC-BATS.