As Halloween approaches and bat decorations go up, bat enthusiasts around B.C. are celebrating and supporting our real bats by participating in International Bat Week (Oct. 24 to 31). Bat Week is all about appreciating these amazing animals and their benefits, from eating insects to pollinating the agave plant used to make tequila. There are many ways to celebrate, from watching a bat video online, to building a bat house, to baking bat cookies or making bat artwork.
The Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project is inviting community members of all ages to participate in a Bat Week Contest. To be entered in a draw for over 50 different bat-themed prizes, send or post a photo sharing how you are celebrating Bat Week, along with one bat fact. Prizes for all ages will include T-shirts, kids’ books, stuffies, puppets, tote bags, bat house kits, and guano for your veggie garden. For more information about bats and the contest, please visit www.facebook.com/coastwildlife or www.coastwildlife.ca or @coastwildlife on Instagram.
Bat Week is also the time to say “so long” to bats in our neighbourhoods, until the return of insects with the warmer weather in spring. As insect-eaters, our B.C. bats must leave their summer roost sites and migrate or hibernate to survive the winter. This absence means that this is the time of year to do home renovations that you have delayed due to bat presence. Monitoring for White-nose Syndrome in B.C. will continue this winter. If you observe a bat in winter or find a dead bat, please report it to email@example.com or call 604-989-1007.
Bat conservation efforts on the Sunshine Coast are carried out in partnership with the B.C. Community Bat Program and the Province of B.C., with funding from Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Forest Enhancement Society of B.C., Habitat Stewardship Program, and the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program.