Alanah Nasadyk (left) and Paige Erickson-McGee were part of the Big Bat Bike Ride on Sunday (Oct. 29). Contributed photo

Big Bat Bike Ride flies in to help creatures on South Island

Campaign aims to house bats who have lost natural habitats and face extinction

It seems Victorians aren’t the only Islanders feeling the effects of the housing crunch. Bats are becoming increasingly hard-pressed to find a place to build a home and the Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) wants to help them.

So, in the spirit of flight, local cyclists with an affinity for the furry night creatures donned wings and hopped on their saddles for the Big Bat Bike Ride on Sunday. The costumed batty bike crew aimed to raise awareness and funds to adopt local bat colonies through the HAT for Bats campaign during bat week, which ended Oct. 31.

“Our local bat populations are in trouble and they need our help,” said Paige Erickson-McGee, HAT’s stewardship co-ordinator. With the support of community members, she hoped to raise $1,000 for the campaign and spread the word about the importance of the often misunderstood creatures.

“They’re underrated and mysterious, but they do a lot of good for us in the environment,” she said. “We want to spread the word about how bats are really helping us and why they’re so important to our local eco-system. “They’re the main nocturnal insect control, whereas birds are the daytime ones.”

Of the 10 species of bats on the Island, three have been taking shelter in human-built structures after losing their natural habitat – large old hollow trees – due to development and deforestation. The HAT for Bats Campaign hopes to raise $3,000 by the end of the year via its canadahelps.org page, money it hopes will translate to permanent homes for hundreds of bats.

“We’re looking for bat caves,” Erickson-McGee said, chuckling.

The Big Bat Bike Ride takes place Oct. 29 with a 4-km and 50-km option. Visit HAT’s Facebook page or call 250-995-2428 for more information.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Greater Victoria teachers experienced more than 30 incidents of violence from students in one month

Shuttered behavioural programs, lack of resources creates challenges for local schools

Canadian alcohol policy gets failing grade from UVic researchers

Canadian provinces and territories collectively achieved less than half of their potential to reduce alcohol related harm

Esquimalt High robotics team heads to international competition

The Esquimalt Atom Smashers will participate in the FIRST Robotics Canada competition

Island playoffs underway at Oak Bay High

Home team vies for fifth straight Island title

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

Most Read