What is the Cumberland Bat Project?
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. We are part of the BC Community Bat Program and every Jun – August the CCFS coordinates the regional Community Bat Count, which engages bat loving volunteers of all ages!
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.
Stay tuned for public events, bat nights, bat walks and bat engagement projects.
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 wingspan 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.
Bats are important. They are in trouble. Bats need your help. Learn more about bats. Visit www.bcbats.ca for more information.
1-855-922-2287 EXT 25 for local inquiries!Bats on your property? Dead bat found or live bat on the ground? Bat-human or animal contact? Human health related inquiry? Call the new regional bat “hotline”! If bats have returned to the known/ existing roost please call the bat phone or email: firstname.lastname@example.org