“Got Bats?” community projects support conservation of bats by providing educational programs, conducting inventories of bats in buildings, working with landowners who have bats in buildings and establishing annual counts, where volunteers count bats leaving a roost site on their property for four nights over the spring and summer in order to monitor populations.
B.C. has the highest bat diversity in Canada with 16 of the 19 species found here. Half the bat species in B.C. are listed to be of conservation concern either provincially or federally.
More recently, the emergence of White Nose Syndrome, a fungal disease that kills bats during their winter hibernation period, has resulted in the death of more than six million bats across 25 states and five Canadian provinces.
The disease is predicted to arrive in B.C. within the next decade, and monitoring bat populations is essential for detecting sudden declines associated with White Nose Syndrome caused deaths.
The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is providing program funding, and regional partners have secured additional funding and in-kind contributions from a number of sources.
The community projects are being modelled after the successful Kootenay Community Bat Project and South Coast Bat Action Team.