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

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

Victoria among Top 10 sunniest Canadian cities

Victoria ranks 6th in sunny days per year

Surge in requests for help, reports of sexual assault since #MeToo

Growing demand for Victoria Sexual Assault Clinic’s services in first year of #MeToo

Growing numbers of Vancouver Islanders get flu shots

In 2017 alone, more than 240,000 people got vaccinated

Vancouver Giants end Victoria Royals’ win streak

Victoria hockey club hosts defending champions Swift Current Wednesday night

Victoria teen suffers whiplash in school ‘bubble’ soccer game

Middle school students injured in teacher-student competition

Black Press to host extreme career fair in Victoria

The fair will run on Oct. 25 at the Bay Street Armoury

Private marijuana stores should shut down, Mike Farnworth says

B.C. has approved 62 licences, but they still need local approval

Court finds that company was ‘careless’ in cutting down 45 trees near Nanaimo

Western Canadian Timber Products ordered to pay $80,000 to private landowners

Dying motorcyclist from Coombs gets last-ride tribute

Friends grant Corinna Pitney’s wish ‘to hear bikes roar, to see leather and chrome’

HPV vaccine does not lead to riskier sex among teen girls: UBC

Girls are less likely to have sex now than they were a decade ago

VIDEO: Rescued eagle released in Ucluelet

“I’m very confident that he’s going to make it. He’s done very well.”

Koreas agree to break ground on inter-Korean railroad

The rival Koreas are holding high-level talks Monday to discuss further engagement amid a global diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with North Korea.

Flash floods kill at least 7 people in southwest France

Flash floods have left several people dead in southwest France, with roads swept away and streams become raging torrents as the equivalent of several months of rain fell overnight, authorities said Monday.

Most Read