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

Tap Truck Okanagan launches as first location in Canada

The business is built on a restored 1957 Chevy panel van and ready to serve craft beer on tap, wine or cider

Art sessions coming to Keremeos park

Four art programs will be offered in Pine Park From late June through July

Crews building structure at former Summerland train station site

West Summerland Station will pay tribute to railway history, serve as trail marker

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

Additional Penticton washrooms open in time for weekend

Washrooms at Riverside, Skaha Lake Park, Okanagan Lake Park, more, now open

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe comapaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

‘Alarmed’: Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

Vernon protesters take Black Lives Matter movement to park

A handful of demonstrators raised fists, signs in solidarity Friday

Most Read