Bats

We want to collect more data from this area on bat populations, and you, the residents of this community can be the eyes and ears of the research scientists. We are particularly interested in knowing the location of open mine adits that could be roosting places for bats. Please leave us a “comment” if you know of any of these mines.

The Western Red bat is red-listed and the Townsend’s Big-eared bat and the Fringed Myotis are blue listed species. In addition, the little brown myotis has recently been petitioned as federally Endangered.

In the Slocan Valley, a number of roost sites have been found for the Townsend’s Big-Eared Bat and other bat species (including little brown myotis, Yuma myotis and big brown bat).  Juliet Craig of the Kootenay Community Bat Project has been instrumental over the years in locating these roosts and soliciting from residents information about local summer bat roosts. The Kootenay Community Bat Project is interested in hearing from you if you have bats roosting in a building. They can be contacted at kootenaybats@gmail.com, 1-855-9BC-BATS or at http://www.kootenaybats.com.

A few years ago, Thomas Hill, Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, received a phone call from someone who described hitting a ‘red bat’ on his windshield near Bonanza Marsh, Hills.  This prompted Dr. Cori Lausen, Birchdale Ecological (Bats R Us), Kaslo, B.C. and Thomas to do one night of acoustic recording in the area in 2009.  This monitoring revealed what looked like red bat echolocation calls.  Red bats are not known from the area, although the cottonwoods provide highly suitable habitat.  There is in fact only one red bat known from the province, and it is a specimen from the Skagit, currently housed at a museum in Ontario.  Dave Nagorsen, former curator of mammalogy at the Royal BC Museum, has requested from the ON museum a genetic sample of this specimen.  It is not known whether this red bat is the western or eastern red bat species, although the assumption for many years has been that of western given its western location of collection.  Photos suggest this may not be the case.  Genetics will be used to determine this specimen to confirm its identity.  In the meantime, Dr. Lausen is independently following up on the sighting and recording in Bonanza Marsh, by passively recording throughout June 2010.  If passive recordings show multiple red bat passes, Dr. Lausen hopes to find a night or two in summer 2010 to mistnet sample the Bonanza Marsh area.

Dr. Lausen is also interested in winter bat hibernation locations and activity.  Little is known about bat hibernation in B.C.  Cori is focusing on the west Kootenay to learn what bat species overwinter in the region, what type of roosts are used in winter, and which species tend to be active during the winter.  If anyone has information about locations of bats during winter, please contact corilausen@birchdalebc.ca.

The following links are to reports on Juliet Craig’s work on bats in this area through the Kootenay Community Bat Project:

http://www.fwcp.ca/version2/reports/pdfs/Kootenay_Community_Bat_Project.pdf

http://www.fwcp.ca/version2/reports/pdfs/the_slocan_valley_bat_project_a_community_approach_to_bat_inventory_and_conservation.pdf

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