The Little Brown Myotis is threatened by white-nose syndrome, a bat disease. (Photo by B. Paterson)

The Little Brown Myotis is threatened by white-nose syndrome, a bat disease. (Photo by B. Paterson)

Surrey, White Rock residents encouraged to report bat roosts this summer

BC Community Bat Program set to begin annual bat count

With the bat population at its peak during the summer months, the BC Community Bat Program is asking Surrey and White Rock residents to report any bat roosts they spot.

Young bats – called pups – gain independence from their mothers each July, and join the older bats in what the program, in a news release issued this week, called “a feeding frenzy.”

“If you are sitting out on your property this month after sunset and notice bats overhead, look to see if they are coming from your house or a neighbour’s,” the release states.

“With loss of natural habitat, many bat species will use buildings to roost in and raise their young. The BC Community Bat Program is very interested in monitoring bat populations across BC.”

To report a roost, email vancouver@bcbats.ca

As well, the release notes that bats are protected by the Wildlife Act and cannot be disturbed until September. Therefore, any work – such as a home renovation – that would disturb a roost must be put on hold.

The provincial bat program will also soon be launching its annual BC Bat Count, which begins July 11 and runs until Aug. 5. The counts are done for one hour each night at sunset, and “are easy, fun, and safe, not to mention are vital for monitoring bat populations.”

“The counts are a wonderful way for people to get outside, respect social distancing guidelines, and be involved in collecting important scientific information” says Danielle Dagenais, regional co-ordinator of the BC Community Bat Program.

“The count data helps bat biologists understand bat distribution and normal variation in colony sizes before our bats face impacts from a devastating bat disease called white-nose syndrome.



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