Two volunteers counting bats with a handheld “clicker,” which allows for easy tallying outside roost sites. (J. Craig photo)

Got bats?

The Skeena Community Bat Program is looking for volunteers to help with their annual count

Residents are being asked to venture into old abandoned barns, web-strewn attics, and other local roost sites to help the Community Bat Projects of BC (BCCBP) conduct their annual census.

“Bat counts are a wonderful way for residents to get involved in collecting important scientific information,” said biologist Ashleigh Ballerina, coordinator of the Skeena Community Bat Program. “No special skills are needed, you can be any age, and you can relax in a deck chair while counting.”

The count collects baseline data on bat populations across the province, which has increased in urgency since the White Nose Syndrome fungal disease decimated eastern North American numbers.

“White Nose Syndrome is estimated to have killed more than seven million bats since it was first discovered in eastern North America a decade ago,” said Mandy Kellner, provincial coordinator of BCCBP.

“In March 2016, the disease was detected just east of Seattle, and has now spread within Washington State. This has greatly increased our urgency to understand bat populations in BC. We need the public’s help to census local bat populations – we never known when it is our last year to obtain population estimates before White Nose Syndrome causes widespread declines in western North America.”

READ MORE: Vacationers urged to check for stowaway bats that could carry deadly disease

About half of 16 species of bat in BC are considered vulnerable or threatened, according to BCCBP. Historically bats have gotten a bad societal rap, from their association to blood-sucking vampires to their incorrect classification as a species of rodent. In actuality, these creatures are extremely helpful in cutting down flying insect populations, namely mosquitoes, and can eat more than their body weight in one night.

“We know relatively little about bats in the Skeena, including basic information on population numbers,” said Ballevona. “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.”

Volunteers can help with the count by waiting outside a known roost site, like a bat-house, barn, bridge or attic, and count the bats that fly out at twilight. Then, they record the final number along with weather conditions and submit. The counts are done once or twice between June 1-21 before the pups are born, and then again between July 11 and August 5 when the pups are flying.

To find out more about bat counts, or to get assistance dealing with bat issues, visit www.bcbats.ca or call 1-855-9BC-BATS.


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Townsend’s big-eared bat is one of the species people may encounter during the bat watch. (Sharon Kellner photo)

Two volunteers counting bats with a handheld “clicker,” which allows for easy tallying outside roost sites. (J. Craig photo)

Just Posted

Terrace Chamber of Commerce extends nomination deadline

Public is encouraged to recognize award-worthy businesses in 14 categories

‘It affects everybody:’ Trudeau’s brownface photos worry Wet’suwet’en chief

Skeena-Bulkley Valley Liberal candidate declines to comment on prime minister’s indiscretion

City of Terrace holds 39th annual Terry Fox Run

Almost $2K was raised towards cancer research

Former college trailers see new life with Kinsmen Club of Terrace

Eight trailers will be used to revive the organization’s youth camp at Lakelse Lake

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many of the protesters were children and youth who skipped school to take part in the demonstrations.

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Most Read