June 1 to 21 marks the first counting period of the Annual BC Bat Count. The important citizen science initiative provides a wonderful opportunity for people to get outside, learn about bats, and help collect valuable scientific information. Volunteers simply wait outside known roost sites and count bats as they fly out at twilight.
Bat count data helps biologists understand bat species distribution and monitor for impacts of the devastating bat disease called white-nose syndrome. This introduced fungal disease is fatal for bats. It was recently detected in B.C. for the first time. Results from the bat count may help prioritize areas for treatment and recovery actions.
Community members who would like to help count bats and residents who are aware of bats roosting in sites like barns, attics, roofs, siding, or bat boxes are asked to please contact the Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-989-1007.
Sunshine Coast bat stewardship efforts are funded by the Habitat Stewardship Program, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Forest Enhancement Society of BC, Gencon Foundation, and the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, with support of the BC Conservation Foundation and the Province of BC. To find out more about bat counts or white-nose syndrome, to report a dead bat, or to get advice on managing bats in buildings, please visit www.bcbats.ca.