Okanagan Bat Program
1-855-922-2287 extension 13
Okanagan Bat Project
The Okanagan Valley 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.
Read our Okanagan Bat-E-Newsletter
Meet the Okanagan Community Bat Team
Paula Rodriguez de la Vega is the Okanagan Community Bat Program regional coordinator, organizing bat counts, site visits, public and school programs and answering questions about bat boxes and habitat stewardship. Passionate about science communication and the habitats in the stunning Okanagan, she loves helping people with questions and concerns related to bats.
Megan Olson grew up in the Okanagan Valley and is the North Okanagan Community Bat Program regional coordinator. She began as a volunteer bat counter during a summer job as a naturalist and continues to pursue her interest in bat conservation. She is enthusiastic about educating others about the importance and uniqueness of bats in BC and encouraging co-existence with wildlife.
Tanya Luszcz conducts and coordinates species at risk monitoring (mainly migratory birds) with the Canadian Wildlife Service. She studied bat habitat in forests in southern British Columbia for her M.Sc. degree, and she is an active member of the BC Bat Action Team and the Okanagan Community Bat Program. Tanya volunteers her time as a board member of the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance and also gives bat education talks as part of the Meadowlark Festival.
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.