West Vancouver is home to several bat species, including the Yuma Bat, Little Brown Bat, and Big Brown Bat. They are efficient eaters, and provide valuable ecosystem services by controlling insect populations.
Many bat species are at risk in BC, and need our help for protection. Loss of habitat and roosting sites, predators like outdoor cats, and White Nose Syndrome (a fungal disease that is killing colonies in other parts of North America) threaten these important and often misunderstood creatures.
In partnership with Community Bat Programs of BC, five bat boxes have been installed throughout West Vancouver—two at Gleneagles Golf Course, two at Ambleside Par 3, and one at Hugo Ray Park—as well as several smaller bat boxes throughout the District.
They provide additional roosting habitat for female bats to raise their young from spring to fall, before hibernating for the winter. Natural colony habitat, such as hollow trees, is becoming scarcer in urban environments and bat boxes and hotels provide a safe, dry place for bats to call home.
It can take up to two years or more for a colony to establish in a new box, so it’s important to stay patient after installing a new one.
Bat you didn’t know! A female bat can eat over 1,000 insects a night.
BATS IN YOUR HOME
All species of bats in BC are protected by the Wildlife Act. Visit Community Bat Programs of BC to learn how to safety and legally exclude bats from your property before conducting a renovation or demolition project.
DISEASE AND HUMAN HEALTH
Though extremely rare, bats are the only species in BC to carry the rabies virus. Even though less than 1% of wild bats carry rabies, never touch a bat with bare hands as rabies is fatal if not treated. If you have had direct contact with a bat, contact Vancouver Coastal Health. If a pet has been in contact with a bat, contact a veterinarian.
WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT BATS
- Report a bat sighting (dead or alive) to the BC Community Bat Program by calling 1-855-922-2287 or emailing [email protected]
- Learn about bats, and how to create and steward habitat for them
- Consider installing a bat box in your yard
- Reduce the spread of White Nose Syndrome by cleaning your clothing and equipment after visiting a region known to have the disease. Visit whitenosesyndrome.org/where-is-wns for more information.
- Learn how to safely exclude bats from your attic or other structures before doing renovations or demolitions—visit Community Bat Programs of BC
- Participate in citizen science by becoming a monitoring volunteer or attending an annual bat count