The Okanagan Valleys is well-known for its diverse habitats from the lakes, streams and sage-covered grasslands in the valley-bottom to the Ponderosa Pine and Douglas fir forests reaching up to the rugged cliffs above us. Is it any surprise that the Okanagan Valley has more species of bats living here than anywhere else in Canada? Bats that are commonly seen at night and found roosting in and around buildings are the Little Brown Bat and Yuma Bat, although other species can be encountered. The Okanagan and Similkameen region is also home to many unique bats that are at risk due to loss of habitat and lack of suitable spots for winter hibernation and summer maternal colonies.
- The large Pallid Bat hunts over grasslands below the rugged cliffs where it roosts.
- The beautiful black-and-white Spotted Bat is the only bat whose echolocation calls can be heard by humans.
- The Townsend’s Big-eared Bat has ears half the size of its body and roosts in caves, mines and buildings.
If you have bats roosting on your property, in a barn, attic, or under the siding let us know!
- Learn about the roosting habits of bats.
- Ask about health and safety concerns.
- Develop a roost conservation plan.
- Find out about bat boxes.
- Get advice on the best times and techniques for removing bats in a friendly manner.
- Help us identify and count your bats.
Okanagan Bat Program
1-855-922-2287 extension 13
Meet the Okanagan Community Bat Team
Paula Rodriguez de la Vega coordinates bat counts, site visits, bat public programs, bat box installation, dead bat collection in spring, and the Bat-E-Newsletter for the Okanagan Community Bat Program. She helps people with their questions and concerns related to bats. Paula is a Penticton-based environmental consultant with a back ground in ecology, wildlife habitat stewardship, landscape design, and nature interpretation.
Margaret Holm is a volunteer for bat counts in the Penticton area. She also assists with the call line and with public programs as needed. Margaret is the past Okanagan Community Bat Program coordinator and has worked for many years in education, conservation and outreach related to species that are at risk.
Tanya Luszcz is a wildlife biologist who works in migratory bird conservation with the Canadian Wildlife Service, Partners in Flight Program. Bats are her first love since she studied bat habitat in forests in southern British Columbia for her M.Sc. degree. Tanya volunteers with bat outreach giving bat programs and talks in the Okanagan. She is also conducting a bat house temperature monitoring study in the South Okanagan.
Mike Sarell is a well-known Oliver biologist who is passionate about conserving reptiles and bats in his home province and other parts of the world. Mike worked on the Kootenay community bat project and has conducted numerous bat inventories throughout the province, often in conjunction with developing mitigation strategies for development projects.
Aaron Reid is a wildlife biologist for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. In 2007 he worked with landowners in the Okanagan and Similkameen encouraging them to support maternal bat colonies in this region. Aaron has also studied the Townsend's Big-eared Bat in the West Kootenays.