British Columbia is home to a diverse population of bats, with 15 known species breeding within the province. These bats are not rodents; they are their own group of mammals and are more closely related to primates than rodents. All BC bats are insectivores, consuming more than half their body weight in insects each night. This makes them important allies for managing insect pests that impact agriculture as well as forests.

The BC Community Bat Program is dedicated to raising awareness of bat conservation issues, helping manage bats in buildings, and collecting data needed to monitor and understand bats in BC. We provide resources on how to live with bats, report dead bats, and get involved in bat conservation. We also offer information on bat boxes, which can support hundreds of bats, and how to gently and safely evict bats from buildings.

One of the major concerns for BC Bats is the White-nose Syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease that has been detected in Grand Forks, BC. The BC Community Bat Program, in collaboration with the Province of BC, is asking the public for help in the effort to detect and prevent the spread of WNS.

In addition to these efforts, the BC Community Bat Program also organizes the BC Annual Bat Count, calling for volunteers to get involved in bat conservation and research. This event involves bat biologists and volunteers enjoying late nights, counting bats at maternity roosts throughout the province.

In summary, bats in BC are a vital part of healthy ecosystems, and efforts are being made to understand, conserve, and coexist with these fascinating creatures. Whether it’s through citizen science initiatives like the Annual Bat Count or through individual actions like installing bat boxes, everyone can play a part in supporting BC’s bats.

Got Bats? Initiative

The “Got Bats?” initiative is a network of community bat projects across BC, carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Environment. The goals of this network are to:

  1. Increase the number of known roost sites in human-made structures
  2. Encourage landowners to protect their bat roost sites or use bat-friendly exclusion methods and install bat-houses
  3. Promote the Annual Bat Count to monitor bat populations
  4. Enhance bat habitat by encouraging the installation and monitoring of bat-houses.

The success of identifying roost sites for species at risk and the enthusiasm of residents to report their bats, conserve their roost sites or consider sensitive methods for removing bats from their homes continues to drive the success of these projects. The activities in each region depend on the level of funding, community partners, and the priorities of the area. To find out how to be involved in your bat project, or to report bats in your buildings, see the “Contact Us” page.