Sum­mer brings out the bats

Penticton Herald - - OKANAGAN -

If you’re notic­ing more bats around your prop­erty than usual, don’t be alarmed.

“Mid-sum­mer is the time when landown­ers typ­i­cally no­tice more bat ac­tiv­ity, may have bats fly­ing into their house, and oc­ca­sion­ally find a bat on the ground or roost­ing in un­usual lo­ca­tions. These sur­prise vis­i­tors are usu­ally the young pups,” the Okana­gan Com­mu­nity Bat Pro­gram said in a news re­lease on Thurs­day.

In July and Au­gust, pups are learn­ing to fly, and their early ef­forts may land them in lo­ca­tions where they are more likely to come in con­tact with hu­mans,” said Paula Ro­driguez de la Vega, ecol­o­gist and co-or­di­na­tor with the bat pro­gram.

The long spell of hot dry weather has also made bats, like hu­mans, des­per­ate for a drink and more likely to come out be­fore dark­ness to sat­isfy their thirst, Ro­driguez de la Vega said.

The Okana­gan bat pro­gram is part of the provincewide BC Com­mu­nity Bat Pro­gram, funded by the Habi­tat Con­ser­va­tion Trust Foun­da­tion, the Habi­tat Ste­ward­ship Pro­gram, and the pro­vin­cial govern­ment.

It has re­ceived nu­mer­ous calls re­port­ing bats in un­usual lo­ca­tions this sum­mer.

“For landown­ers who find a bat in need of as­sis­tance or find dead bats in the Okana­gan/Sim­ilka­meen val­leys, please call our toll free num­ber 1-855-9BC-BATS ext.13,” said Ro­driguez de la Vega.

Bats in B.C. have very low lev­els of ra­bies in­fec­tions, but any risk of trans­mis­sion should not be treated lightly, the re­lease said.

Un­der the B.C. Wildlife Act, it is il­le­gal to ex­ter­mi­nate or harm bats.

“We of­fer ad­vice and sup­port for home­own­ers who are either want­ing to co-ex­ist with bats or evict bats that are roost­ing in a build­ing, said Ro­driguez de la Vega.

Email the group at Okana­gan@bc­bats.ca.

Parks Canada photo

A Townsend’s Big-Eared Bat hangs on the side of a build­ing. If you’re notic­ing more bats around your prop­erty than usual, don’t be alarmed.

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