Cumberland Bat Collective
North Island Chapter
The North Island Chapter of the BC Community Bat Program started in 2019 and is supported administratively by the Comox Valley Land Trust in partnership with the Cumberland Community Forest Society. Our program delivery area is approximately the Comox Valley, Strathcona and Mt. Waddington Regional Districts including the associated Discovery Islands, Broughton Archipelago and adjacent mainland coast of BC.
What we do
Our current focus is on research. In partnership with the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP), the Royal Bank of Canada Foundation and Latitude Conservation Solutions Company we are focusing on gaining a more detailed understanding of which bat species occur in the North Island region, in what relative abundance, their preferred habitats and other natural history traits. We also operate the Comox Grid cell of the North American Bat Monitoring Program and thus contribute to continental-scale, long-term bat population monitoring efforts.
We play a pivotal role in supporting private landowners, homeowners, governments, industry and others with science-based, practical advice and best practices on bat-related issues. This includes conducting site visits, identifying the species of bat in question (either with ultrasonic acoustic sampling, or DNA analysis of guano or both), providing health and safety information, and where necessary co-developing mitigation strategies for bat exclusions including the provision of bat boxes where appropriate.
We coordinate and lead the Annual Bat Count for the North Island, including training of volunteers or landowners that participate in the project.
Education and Outreach is also a key program area. We regularly host “bat talks” for the public as well as to interested organizations or groups by request. This often includes school groups ranging from pre-school to Grade 12, as well as natural history or stewardship groups. We work with municipalities interested in becoming Bat Friendly Communities and in addition, we have a lot of fun elevating bat conservation through grassroots public art and performance opportunities.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, the Royal Bank of Canada Foundation as well as the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and Forest Enhancement Society of BC contributions that come to us through the BC Conservation Foundation. In-kind contributions of monitoring equipment from BC Parks and tremendous volunteer effort, charitable donations to our bat program and property access from community members and landowners is greatly appreciated!
Tim Ennis is the Coordinator of the North Island Chapter of the BC Community Bat Program and the Executive Director of the Comox Valley Land Trust. He is a conservation biologist with over 20-years of experience working throughout BC. He is also a Research Associate with the University of Guelph’s Department of Integrative Biology, focusing on bat conservation on sustainable farms in Southern Ontario. He is the primary contact for our program and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 250-650-9561
Meaghan Cursons is the Executive Director of the Cumberland Community Forest Society and the co-founder of the Cumberland Bat Collective, the pre-cursor to the North Island Chapter of the BCCBP. She coordinates and implements the majority of our education and outreach programs as well as the community art portfolio.
Tony Billie is a Coast Salish member of the K’omoks First Nation. He is trained as an environmental monitor through his previous role as a K’omoks Guardian. Tony is trained in ultrasonic acoustic sampling for bats, roost counting, deployment of autonomous recording devices used in the NA BAT program and is also our expert bat box builder.