The North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat) was launched in BC in summer 2016 to document bat species around the province. The goals of this program are to detect relative changes in bat population sizes and species’ distributions over time. This information is particularly important in BC since White Nose Syndrome, the disease that is decimating bat populations, was recently confirmed in Washington and is expected to arrive in British Columbia soon.
NABat is based on a grid of 10 km by 10 km “cells” that encompasses all of North America. Approximately one dozen of these cells are being sampled in BC this summer using bat detectors which record the high frequency calls that bats make. By recording and analyzing these calls, the bat species can be identified and the number of passes of each species can be documented. Grid cells are being sampled on Vancouver Island, Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast, Okanagan, Thompson, Kootenay, Skeena and Peace regions of the province. In each sampling cell, up to four passive bat detectors will be placed in bat habitat for a week and two driving transects will be conducted during that same week.
You can find out more about the North American Bat Monitoring Program here.
The published protocol for the NABAT program can be found here.
The NA Bats program is run and funded by Wildlife Conservation Society Canada, with financial support from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and the Columbia Basin Trust.