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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay couple escapes Spain – safe, sound, and in self-isolation

BC couple Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

Emergency response teams continue services during pandemic

The RCMP, SAR, and fire department proceed with operations throughout COVID-19 situation

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Mental health in the time of COVID-19

Taking care of our mental health is just as important as protecting our physical health

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

World COVID-19 update: U.S. expects 100,000 deaths; Oregon declares disaster

Comprehensive update of world news for Sunday, March 19.

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

‘There is community’: B.C. councillor welcomes new baby into world amid COVID-19 pandemic

‘I realize there’s much more than fear and worry… there is hope, there is new life’: Jason Lum

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

Most Read