The Little Brown Myotis occurs across British Columbia but is threatened by white-nose syndrome, a bat disease. (Photo by B. Paterson)

Provincial bat count to monitor for impacts of white-nose syndrome

Almost half of British Columbia’s bat species are now at risk

A provincewide bat count will monitor the number of Little Brown Myotis bats.

While the bat species is one of the most familiar in buildings and bat boxes, the Little Brown Myotis is endangered in Canada. In British Columbia, almost half of the province’s 15 bat species are at risk.

The bat is an essential part of the province’s ecology, consuming many insects each night.

The B.C. Annual Bat Count program is asking for colony reports and volunteer assistance in counting bats at local root sites in June.

READ ALSO: Bats begin to hang out as spring approaches in the Okanagan

READ ALSO: More bats nothing to worry about, say Okanagan experts

“The counts are a wonderful way for people to get outside, respect social distancing guidelines, and be involved in collecting important scientific information,” said biologist Ella Braden, coordinator of the Okanagan Community Bat Program.

Volunteers wait outside a known roost site, such as a bat-box, barn, or attic, and count bats as they fly out at twilight. Ideally, one to two counts are done between June 1 and 21, before pups are born, and one to two more between July 11 and Aug. 5, when pups are flying.

In 2020, the bat count collected baseline data on bat populations at 362 sites across the province and hopes to monitor these sites and more for 2021. The count data helps bat biologists understand bat distribution and normal variation in colony sizes before our bats face impacts from a devastating bat disease called White-nose Syndrome.

White-nose Syndrome is an introduced fungal disease, fatal for bats but doesn’t infect other animals or humans. While it has not been identified in British Columbia, the disease is spreading in Washington State, less than 150 kilometres from the border with British Columbia.

“We know relatively little about bats in B.C., including basic information on population numbers,” Braden said. “This information is more valuable than ever, particularly if it is collected annually. If people want to get involved but don’t have a roost site on their property, we will try to match them with a roost site nearby.”

The Annual Bat Counts are funded by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C., the Habitat Stewardship Program and the South Okanagan Conservation Foundation, and with support of the B.C. Conservation Foundation and the provincial government.

The B.C. Community Bat Program provides information for people dealing with bat issues on their property or who have questions about how to attract bats. To find out more about bat counts or white-nose syndrome, to report a dead bat, or to get assistance dealing with bat issues, visit www.bcbats.ca, call 1-855-9BC-BATS, ext. 13 or email okanaganbats@gmail.com.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

EnvironmentWildlife

Just Posted

Tyler O’Neill has a shot at making the NL all-star team. (Taka Yanagimoto/St. Louis Cardinals)
Executive director of the Friends In Need Food Bank Mary Robson with Darrell Jones, president of Save-On-Foods. (The News files)
Save-On-Foods 4th annual campaign for Maple Ridge food bank starts Thursday, June 17

50 per cent of net proceeds from Western Family brand to be donated

A white bicycle marks the intersection where Dillan Fernando was killed in Pitt Meadows on May 15. (Special to The News)
Family of cyclist killed in Pitt Meadows raising money for Sri Lankan tech centre in his honour

Computer hub would give underprivileged children access to equipment they can not afford

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air traffic at Pitt Meadows Airport returning

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Emiko Nakai will attend Warner Pacific University in Portland, Oregon next year. (Special to The News)
Three SRT Titans earn scholarships

Maple Ridge’s Emiko Nagai, Lucas Hutchinson, and Cade Armour will take talents to college level

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ocean debris is shown on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C. on April, 18, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

Cover of the 32-page Surrey First Peoples Guide for Newcomers, created and compiled by Jeska Slater.
New ‘Surrey First Peoples Guide for Newcomers’ seeks to ‘uplift and amplify’ voices

32-page guide launched Tuesday by Surrey Local Immigration Partnership (LIP)

West Coast Duty Free president Gary Holowaychuk stands next to empty shelves inside his store on Tuesday (June 15). (Aaron Hinks photo)
Revenue down 97% at Surrey duty free as owner waits for U.S. border to reopen

Products approaching best before dates had to be donated, others destroyed

Most Read