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Annual provincewide bat count underway

Bat Count results may help prioritize areas for research into treatment and recovery actions.
C.Bat Count 2
A Yuma myotis bat, the most common species found in building roosts on the Sunshine Coast, emerges from its roost in 2019.

The Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project is requesting volunteer assistance for the Annual BC Bat Count. This provincewide citizen science initiative encourages residents to count bats at known roost sites.

The Bat Count offers a fun way to learn about bats, in a safe, outdoor and socially distanced setting, while collecting important scientific information that contributes to conservation efforts. 

Volunteers wait outside a known roost site, such as an attic, roof, barn, or bat box, and count bats as they fly out at twilight. Ideally, one to two counts are done at each roost between June 1 and 21 before pups are born, and one to two more between July 11 and Aug. 5 when pups are flying. 

Data collected help biologists understand species distributions and normal variation in colony sizes before our bats face impacts from White-nose Syndrome. 

This devastating fungal disease has killed millions of bats across North America and continues to spread in Washington State, less than 150 kilometres from our border. It is fatal for bats but not for other animals or humans. 

Bat Count results may help prioritize areas for research into treatment and recovery actions.

Residents with bat roosts on their property, along with those wishing to volunteer with the counts, are asked to please contact coastwildlife@gmail.com or 604-989-1007. 

For more information about local bats or the Annual Bat Count, please visit bcbats.ca or coastwildlife.ca.

– Submitted