Bats in your belfry?

Habitat Acquisition Trust wants to know where the bats live in Oak Bay

Habitat Acquisition Trust wants to know where the bats live in Oak Bay.

HAT’s Community Bat Program hopes to learn more about bats (winged mammals, not cricket) in the region to guide conservation efforts, enhance habitat and help homeowners, who choose to evict colonies, to do so in a way that harms the bats as little as possible.

With other community bat programs across the province, HAT is helping co-ordinate the annual Bat Count, a citizen science program to monitor bat populations in roost sites.

“We know that there are bats in Oak Bay, people see them flying at sunset, but we don’t know of any roosts in the Oak Bay area,” said Adam Taylor, executive director of HAT. “Since bats usually hunt within 400 meters of a roost site, there is likely a roost (or more than one roost) in Oak Bay, but we have no reports.”

Abandoned houses, barns, church steeples – and even currently occupied structures – can provide a summer home to female bats and their young.

Monitoring these “maternity colonies” can give biologists a good idea of how bat populations in an area are doing from year to year.

They’re looking for volunteers for four counts during the summer. Call 250-995-2428 or email volunteers@hat.bc.ca to volunteer.

Report bats online at bcbats.com or by calling 1-855-9BC-BATS.

 

Bats in your neighbourhood? Let us know, email editor@oakbaynews.com.