A Big Brown Bat is one of many species that can be found on Vancouver Island. (Photo by Cory Olson)

International bat week: Focus on myth busting, conservation, celebration

International Bat Week runs from Oct. 24 to 31

Whether you’re a bat enthusiast, a curious amateur or Batman is your favourite superhero, International Bat Week is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the nocturnal critters.

Oct. 24 to 31 is a week dedicated to the annual celebration of bats and the role they play in nature.

Folks in Greater Victoria are invited to celebrate by stopping by the Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) bat booth at the Family Harvest Festival at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific on Oct. 26, said Paige Erickson, stewardship coordinator for HAT.

READ ALSO: Public’s help needed in tracking bat activity

Staff will be educating the public about the importance of bats, raising awareness and celebrating the little winged creatures.

There are a lot of common misconceptions about bats and myth busting is an important part of educating, Erickson noted. For example, “‘blind as a bat’ is just an old wives tale,” she said with a laugh. They can actually see very well.

However, while bats aren’t blind, many use echolocation rather than eyesight to find their food. Erickson pointed out that most bats eat insects and pests which helps folks in the agriculture and forestry industry save money. All bats in B.C. are insectivores.

With 15 species, B.C. has the most bat species in Canada and 10 of them can be found on Vancouver Island. Half the bat species in B.C. are at risk due to a fungal disease called White Nose Syndrome that can affect them during hibernation, Erickson explained. If a bat is seen out and about during the winter – when it should be hibernating – Erickson recommends calling HAT or animal control to help the bat.

READ ALSO: Second bat found at Greater Victoria elementary school tests positive for rabies

One way to help bats is to build them build a house to hibernate in. With the help of the guides like the handbook by the BC Community Bat Program, residents can build wooden homes for the little critters. According to the handbook, the key features of bat houses are a waterproof roof, dark colours, several internal chambers for bats to roost in and a grip surface on the back and sides.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Port McNeill council debates agreement with chamber of commerce

The chamber proposed a ‘Fee for Service Agreement’ at an annual cost to the town of $5,000.

Salvation Army’s kettle campaign kicks off Nov. 21 in the North Island

The Salvation Army still needs more volunteers to help make the campaign easier to run.

New Port McNeill-Alert Bay-Sointula hybrid ferry sets sail for B.C.

Two Island Class ferries are on their way from Romania

Talks between Western Forest Products and union break down

No more negotiations imminent between United Steelworkers 1-1937 and company

Port Hardy council to apply for poverty reduction program grant funding

How should the District of Port Hardy deal with the issue of poverty?

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

Nanaimo man caught with more than 200,000 child porn images to be sentenced

Crown says Aaron Macrae recorded video of children on buses and at his workplace

Vancouver Island hunters may have harvested deer in area known for chronic wasting disease

Conservation officers make urgent request to public for any information

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Security guard at Kamloops music festival gets three years for sexually assaulting concertgoer

Shawn Christopher Gray walked the woman home after she became seperated from her friends, court heard

Most Read