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

Police recover body of Tofino man near Hot Springs Cove

An RCMP dive team has recovered the body of a Tofino man in his 50s.

Winter hits Tofino and Ucluelet with snow and power outages

Ucluelet’s new public works foreman tackles town’s first snowfall first day on the job.

Dylan Green set to launch B.C.’s first ride-hailing app in Tofino

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

UPDATED: Itska back in owner’s arms after Oak Bay man returns dog taken from Tofino

Shannon Boothman expects to be reunited with Itska on Sunday

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Island Bakery in Cobble Hill to close

Cobble Hill store in business since 1982

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Successful end to search for kayakers along the Island river

Father and son located tired and cold, but otherwise OK

Most Read