There are four species of bats volunteers can look out for this summer that are commonly found in buildings in B.C., according to the BC Community Bat Program. (Courtesy of the Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project)

There are four species of bats volunteers can look out for this summer that are commonly found in buildings in B.C., according to the BC Community Bat Program. (Courtesy of the Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project)

Volunteers called up to bat for BC Annual Bat Count

Help needed tallying roosting bats to support protection of species populations

The BC Annual Bat Count takes flight this June and nocturnal animal fanatics across the province can prepare to count these roosting fuzzy flyers by day and tally their sightings by night.

As a citizen-science initiative, the BC Community Bat Program supports the protection and monitoring of the province’s 15 bat species, roughly half of them endangered, through colony population reports and volunteer assistance.

Those participating this summer can take to common roost sites like barns and attics and count resident bats off as they emerge at twilight. They may also submit guano samples, bat feces, to determine which bat species they have observed at which location.

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One particular bat species, the federally endangered Little Brown Myotis that consumes vast amounts of pesky insects, will be on volunteers’ radar this summer especially.

South Island Community Bat Program coordinator Danielle Buckle said the white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease specifically affecting bats, is largely to blame for this decline in Little Brown Myotis populations.

Buckle added that “habitat loss is a problem for all bat species.”

“We’re really hoping individual landowners can download the [2022 Bat Count data form] and perform their own counts,” Buckle said.

“Send us your data. It’s a really great time of year.”

For more information on bats and how to count them this summer, visit bcbats.ca.


 

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ConservationEndangered SpeciesspringSunshine CoastWildlife

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