Seeking bat reports

The Kootenay Community Bat Project (KCBP) is seeking information about bats in buildings in the Columbia Valley.

The Kootenay Community Bat Project (KCBP) is seeking information about bats in buildings in the Columbia Valley. If you have bats in your home, summer cabin, or other building, KCBP would like to hear from you.

“Very little is known about bats in the Columbia region” said KCBP biologist Leigh Anne Isaac. “We are trying to learn more about the bat colonies here, including where they are roosting, what species are present, and how to promote bat stewardship.”

Of the 16 species of bats in B.C., more than half are red or blue-listed, meaning that they are vulnerable to becoming endangered. There are many threats to these amazing creatures of the night, including habitat loss, intentional extermination (which is illegal under the B.C. Wildlife Act), wind farm development, and most recently, White Nose Syndrome (WNS), which is caused by an introduced fungus. WNS has decimated bat populations, particularly those in eastern North America. Bats need all the help they can get.

Whether you want to promote bats using your garden or you need advice to safely evict them from a building, the KCBP can help. Funded by the Columbia Basin Trust, the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund, and delivered in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Trench Natural Resources Society, the KCBP is a community initiative with the goals of raising awareness about bats and providing information to landowners with bats in buildings.

“We encourage anyone who has bats in a building, particularly those with large colonies, to let us know so that we can visit the property to assess the situation, identify the bat species, and provide information on safe evictions and the installation of bat-houses” continued Isaac.

One of the focuses this year is on the B.C. Bat Count in which residents are encouraged to count bats leaving a roost site on their property for four nights — two in early-June and two in mid-July —in order to monitor populations.

If you have bats living in your buildings, would like to join the B.C. Bat Count, or need information on how to build a bat-house, visit the Kootenay Community Bat Project website at www.kootenaybats.com,  contact kootenaybats@gmail.com,  or 1-855-9BC-BATS ext. 14.

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