The Cumberland Bat Project is a grassroots community project that brings together biologists and public educators with our community to build connection to the diverse species and ecosystems surrounding us and to collect data to support habitat protection efforts.
Coordinated by the Cumberland Community Forest Society and the Comox Valley Conservation Partnership, the Cumberland Bat Project aims to make Cumberland a bat friendly community and build knowledge and appreciation for these important species we share our home with.
Almost 40% of BC bat species are in trouble, with some already listed as endangered or threatened. Did you know Cumberland’s surrounding wilderness is home to 10 different bat species? These include 2 at risk species – the Townsend’s Big-eared Bat (Corynorhinus townsendii) and the Little Brown Bat Myotis lucifugus.
Little Brown Bat’s are at risk specifically due to the spread of white nose syndrome (which can travel on camping equipment and climbing ropes). As an ‘indicator species’, changes to bat populations can also indicate changes in biodiversity. Bats suffer when there are problems with insect populations (because bats feed on insects) or when habitats are destroyed.
http://www.hww.ca/en/wildlife/mammals/little-brown-bat.html is great link for getting to know the Little Brown Bat, or Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus)
Stay tuned for public events, bat nights, bat walks and bat engagement projects coming throughout 2019.
Fun Bat Facts:
- We have at least 10 species of bats in the Comox Valley? They all eat insects and arachnids. None eat fruit.
- BC’s largest bat is the Hoary Bat, with a wing span of about 39cm (15″) and weighs as much as a dinner fork.
- Some species of bats can live up to 40 years.
- One colony of 150 Big Brown bats can protect farmers from up to 33 million or more rootworms each summer.
- Bats can see in the dark and use their extreme sense of hearing. They use echolocation to find food.
- Bats are the only mammal naturally capable of true and sustained flight.
- Bats are clean animals, grooming themselves almost constantly.
- Bats do not chew or scratch wood or wires like rodents do. Their tiny, sharp teeth are used to crunch hard bodied insects.
- There are over 1,200 known species of bats in the World. Nearly 70% of these bats are insectivores.
Bats in Spring:
You may find bats in odd places at this time of year. Perhaps one roosting above an outside door entrance-way or in a wood pile. If the bat is safe from curious kids and pets, please leave the bat alone. It may stay there for a few days or up to a week. If it is still there after a week, please report it to BC Community Bat Program. It may be dead. www.bcbats.ca.
Local Comox Valley inquiries should be directed to the North Island Chapter of the BC Community Bat Program at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-650-9561 . In the Comox Valley, the BC Bat Program is particularly interested in locating and monitoring roost sites in the 2019 season, so anyone with information about the location of roost sites is encouraged to contact us.
Bats are important. They are in trouble. Bats need your help. Learn more about bats. Visit www.bcbats.ca for more information.