Citizen-science initiative needs volunteers to count Okanagan-Shuswap bats

Volunteer assistance is needed to count bats at local roost sites around B.C.

The BC Community Bat Program is asking for volunteers to help endangered wildlife, such as the Little Brown Bat, with a citizen-science initiative.

Volunteer assistance is needed to count bats at local roost sites around B.C.

“The counts are a wonderful way for people to get involved in collecting important scientific information, as well as learn about bat behaviour” said biologist Ella Braden, co-ordinator of the Okanagan Community Bat Program, in a news release.

READ MORE: Penticton students go to bat for bats

In 2018, the annual bat count collected baseline data on bat populations at 214 sites across the province, and hope to find more sites for 2019. The count data helps bat biologists understand bat distribution and normal variation in colony sizes before the devastating White-nose Syndrome affects bats in the province.

White-nose syndrome is an introduced fungal disease, fatal for bats but not for other animals or humans. Not yet identified in B.C., the disease continues to spread in Washington State. Results from the bat count may help prioritize areas in B.C. for research into treatment options and recovery actions.

READ MORE: Peachland researchers warn public to be on alert for dead bats

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 one to two more between July 11 and Aug. 5 when pups are flying.

“We know relatively little about bats in B.C., including basic information on population numbers,” said Braden. “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 BC 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 or call 1-855-9BC-BATS ext. 13.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kamloops holds Black Lives Matter rally despite cancellation of protest

Organizers announced cancellation of the event after receiving criticism on social media

In photos: Modified, yet traditional graduation gives Penticton graduates a sense of normalcy

Students around Penticton take part in pre-recorded graduation ceremonies

‘It’s about equality’ says Penticton man rallying for Black Lives Matter

“Canada is not exempt from racism and oppression,” said Geoff Stathers, standing with his #BLM sign

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

COLUMN: Efforts preserve and promote local agriculture

Farming will remain an important element in the region

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Helicopter, dogs used in North Okanagan highway arrest

Revelstoke, North Okanagan RCMP team up to nab Alberta man, stolen BMW

Undisclosed video evidence comes to light in West Kelowna murder trial

‘They’ve disclosed hundreds of pieces of evidence. Why would this have gotten missed?’ - defence lawyer

Vernon Walmart staffer finds $7K lost by Enderby business owner

Entrepreneur elated after Walmart worker, who lost his own business to COVID, returned lost deposit

Summerland council to continue online meetings

Virtual meetings remain to comply with COVID-19 restrictions

Penticton RCMP arrest man found ‘unlawfully in home’

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them

Shuswap man hosting concert in his driveway

Lamenting the loss of Music in the Park events due to COVID-19, Shane McMahon is putting on a show

Refugee family assists former hosts in effort to stop rising water of Shuswap Lake

Alahmad family spend morning filling sandbags to help protect residences

Summerland not considering allowing alcohol in public spaces

Penticton and North Vancouver have both passed bylaws to relax alcohol consumption rules

Most Read