B.C. residents can help determine the size of local bat populations by participating in a bat count this June. -Image Credit: J Craig.

Volunteers needed for bat count

The annual count will collect data before the devastating White Nose Syndrome affects bats in B.C.

The BC Community Bat Program is seeking volunteers and bat colonies for the annual bat count.

This citizen-science initiative encourages residents to count bats at local roost sites.

“Bat counts are a wonderful way for residents to get involved in collecting important scientific information” says biologist Mandy Kellner, coordinator of the BC Community Bat Program. “No special skills are needed, kids can be involved and you can relax in a deck chair while counting.”

This year the annual bat count will collect baseline data on bat populations before the devastating White Nose Syndrome fungal disease affects bats in the province.

“White Nose Syndrome is estimated to have killed more than six million bats since it was first discovered in eastern North America a decade ago,” says Kellner. “In March 2016, the disease was detected just east of Seattle. This has greatly increased our urgency to understand bat populations in BC. We need the public’s help to census local bat populations. The summer of 2017 may be our last year to obtain population estimates before White Nose Syndrome causes widespread declines in western North America.”

Volunteers wait outside a known roost site, such as a bat-house, barn, bridge or attic and count bats as they fly out at twilight. They record the final number along with basic information on weather conditions. Ideally, one to two counts are done between June 1 and 21, before pups are born, and once more between July 21 and August 15 when pups are flying.

“We know relatively little about bats in B.C., including basic information on population numbers” continues Kellner. “This information will be extremely valuable, 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.”

Funded by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and with support of the BC Conservation Foundation and the Province of BC, the BC Community Bat Program provides information for people dealing with bat issues on their property or have questions about how to attract bats.. To find out more about or to register for a bat count, or to get assistance dealing with bat issues, visit www.bcbats.ca or call 1-855-9BC-BATS.

Just Posted

East Shuswap Road wildfire’s fire line being controlled

Firefighters saved an eagle’s nest and eaglets while controlling fire lines

RCMP ask public to help locate missing West Kelowna teen

Madison Loutitt was last seen July 12

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Thieves on the loose in Lake Country

The RCMP is looking for thieves who stole from vehicles and a liquor store

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

Your reviews: John Fogerty rocks the South Okanagan

Photos and reviews from fans in Penticton at John Fogerty’s concert in the SOEC

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Most Read