Surrey, British Columbia

Rob Mies w StrawC BatBats!

As Halloween approaches, many people are taking time to learn about one of the holiday’s well-known icons and one of nature’s most misunderstood creatures: bats.

 

In recent years, significant populations of several hibernating bat species have declined. The cause of death is connected to Geomyces destructans, a cold temperature-loving white fungus, commonly know as White-nose Syndrome (WNS). Little Brown and Northern Long-eared Bats appear to be the species hardest hit. WNS has been reported in 19 states in the US and four Canadian provinces. It is believed that infected bats are depleting their fat reserves more quickly during hibernation, awaking more often and/or for longer periods of time.

 

What can be done to help? The Organization for Bat Conservation (OBC) suggests building or buying a bat box to provide roosting sites. They also suggest planting moth-attracting wildflowers to give bats an additional food source. Also, leave up dead or dying trees, as long as it is safe, to provide bats with natural shelters.

 

The OBC, in conjunction with Wild Birds Unlimited, has developed a bat box that meets OBC specifications and provides the features that successfully attract bats. In addition, a portion of the sales from each OBC bat box goes to OBC for bat research, rescue and public education.