“This is very much a citizen science kind of program,” Fish and Wildlife Technician for the Ministry of Forest, Land and Natural Resource Operations, Julie Kline said. “We want people to get involved, get interested and take ownership of the bats in our region… The more people that are involved and doing it themselves, the more investment they have in the species they’re looking at.”
The initiative is part of the BC Bat Action Team, aiming to promote conservation, creating a roosting habitat and learning more about bats around the province.
”Once they’re built and installed, residents can just watch from a distance,” says Kline. “We recommend people go out close to dusk and pull up a camp chair… You can have a video recorder to make it easier or just get a couple of friends to gather around…Watch from a distance and count how many you see.”
Kline says Fort St. John is a suitable environment for many of the bat species from around the community, as we have decent wet lands and an abundance of food for the creators, which are primarily mosquitoes and other insects.
The population of bats are in alarming decline around the world; with more thank half of North America’s 46 species already listed as endangered, says the Peace Bat Conservation Project.
The initiative was made available thanks to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and the Charlie Lake Conservation Society.
If you would like to receive a bat house call, (800) 538 2287 or (512) 327 9721. To learn more about the BC Bat Count, visit www.bcbats.ca.