International Bat Week (Oct. 24-31) is a time for people to learn more about the nocturnal creatures and how to protect them. (Photo by Cory Olson)

International Bat Week (Oct. 24-31) is a time for people to learn more about the nocturnal creatures and how to protect them. (Photo by Cory Olson)

Bats have been getting a bad rap — B.C. Bat Program looks to change that

Bat Week starts Oct. 24

With the majority of scientists pegging the origin of COVID-19 on bats, the winged creatures have developed a bit of a bad rap this year.

But, as International Bat Week (Oct. 24 to 31) approaches, the B.C. Community Bat Program is hoping to dispel fear and get people more interested in the nocturnal critters.

Bats actually have all kinds of benefits for people, explained Mandy Kellner, coordinator for the B.C. Community Bat Program, in a press release.

Not only do they feed on all kinds of pesky bugs, bats also pollinate the agave plant used to make tequila.

READ ALSO: International Bat Week focuses on myth busting, conservation, celebration

“Bats in B.C. help control agricultural and forest pests, as well as mosquitoes in our yards — but now bats need our help,” Kellner said.

More than half the bat species in B.C. are considered at risk and even more could be in trouble in the near future.

A fungal disease called white-nose syndrome has been spreading through Washington State and with no known treatment or means to prevent transmission, it could soon be impacting B.C. bats as well.

Luckily, there are several ways that people can help.

The B.C. Bat Program recommends people research bats online, host an educational event, help restore a wetland, learn about bat-friendly lighting and prepare a bat box for next spring.

Bat boxes are a similar concept to bird houses — made to mimic the space between bark and a tree trunk where bats would ideally roost, the boxes offer the creatures an artificial home to stay in. Like bird houses, the boxes are also a simple DIY project.

READ ALSO: Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Because bats are insect-eaters, they must migrate or hibernate during the winter months. The B.C. Bat Program said this makes winter the ideal time for home owners to do renovations that may have disturbed the creatures in warmer months.

It also asks that if anyone does see a bat during the winter, they report it to info@bcbats.ca or 1-855-922-2287.

To kickoff Bat Week, the Habitat Acquisition Trust is hosting an educational walk and scavenger hunt through the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific gardens on Oct. 24. A total of 24 people will be allowed to attend and can register online.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

ConservationCoronavirusGreater Victoria

Just Posted

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

Barriers to rental housing brought on by no-pet rules add stress to renters, says councillor. (Pixabay)
Saanich councillor wants to remove barriers to housing for pet owners

Motion calling for province to amend lease stipulations against pet ownership defeated in 5-4 vote

(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)
Victoria food drive aims to feed those also struggling with housing

Quadra Village furniture store hosting drive-thru event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

A sketch of the multi-use path that will connect Lagoon Beach and Royal Beach in Colwood. (Sketch courtesy of the City of Colwood)
Concepts for Colwood beach connector coming to council June 21

Major infrastructure project includes gathering places, public amenities and pathways

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Most Read