Amid a housing crunch, Wild Wise Sooke and the Sooke Pathfinders, the 12 to 14-year old Girl Guide crew, got together to build two dozen bat houses for the local flying mammals known for their upside-down sleeping arrangements.
The slim wooden houses, painted black for warmth, will be hung in parks throughout the community to help restore habitat for bats. Wild Wise president Sam Webb hopes citizen scientists will then observe activity in the houses and contribute to the Habitat Acquisition Trust’s 2021 bat count.
Wild Wise bought the lumber, Sooke Home Hardware donated the hardware and a Pathfinder guide cut and assembled wood into kits. Then, each of the pathfinders built their own house during a Zoom-guided building meeting.
Bats are tiny, so the houses are slimmer than one would expect of a house. There’s a rough surface on the back of the house for the bat to hang onto, where they’ll either sleep or hibernate depending on the time of year.
“We suspect that by putting them up now, they will use them for their young as well,” said Webb.
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