Omineca 1

Contact

Tina Watters
Phone: 1-855-922-2287, ext. 26
email: omineca@bcbats.ca

The Omineca region is home to 7 of the 15 bat species found in British Columbia; in total, there are 18 Canadian species. All Canadian bats eat insects, making them essential to protect crops and forests. To find out more about bats of the Omineca region, scroll down to the table at the bottom of the page!

In 2023, the BC Community Bat Program (CBP) extended its offices to the Omineca region!

Where we are

The BC Community Bat Omineca region roughly follows the provincial region, with Prince George being the largest city in the region. 

What we do

Our main goals are:

  • Conducting inventories of bats in buildings and promoting the Annual Bat Count
  • Working with landowners who have bats, including bat-friendly evictions.
  • Raising awareness about bat conservation

This chapter of the Community Bat Program provides site visits to properties with bats in the Omineca region. Biologists can visit your property to identify your bat species, assist homeowners in learning how to live with bats, create and/or enhance habitat for bats (including bat boxes!), or safely exclude them if necessary.

The annual bat count

Community Bat Programs across the province have been coordinating Annual Bat Counts since 2012. The Annual Bat Count is a citizen science program that monitors bat populations in roost sites annually. Abandoned houses, barns, church steeples – and even currently-occupied structures – can provide a summer home to female bats and their young. Monitoring these “maternity colonies” can give biologists a good idea of how bat populations in an area are doing from year to year. With the occurrence of White-nose Syndrome in Western North America, monitoring these colonies is more important than ever.

A few bat counts have been completed within the Omineca region in the past, but we hope to increase the number of counts. If you have a roost site on your property or know of one nearby, we encourage you to reach out to let us know so valuable information can be collected from these sites. 

We also offer free training for volunteers or landowners participating in the project. Additionally, we provide the necessary materials and encourage all ages to participate. The essentials of what we ask volunteers to do is to look and click! 

If you are interested in becoming a citizen scientist and helping collect this important conservation knowledge: 

  • Check out the following link to learn more:

https://bcbats.ca/get-involved/counting-bats/ 

  • Then contact us to get involved:

Phone: 1-855-922-2287, ext. 26

Email: ominecabats@gmail.com 

Colony exclusions

Many bat species in British Columbia will roost in human structures. If you have bats in your house, barn, or property, please contact us. We need to learn more about bats in British Columbia, and if required, we can help you safely and gently evict bats from your building and find them a new home. 

Many people are uncomfortable with bats in their homes or outbuildings, which is OK! If you feel it is necessary to remove bats from their buildings, we want to help you do so in a way that limits any harm to the bats. We have biologists who will do “home visits” to help homeowners with bat colonies develop a plan to exclude the bats at the right time of year and provide an alternate place for them to roost and raise their young. 

We will help you identify what time of year to exclude the bats, what renovations will reduce the chances of bats re-occupying your home, and find a place for a bat house for the colony to use. Contact us if you have a colony and would like help with exclusions. 

Check out the following link to learn more: https://bcbats.ca/got-bats/ 

Education and outreach

Education and Outreach is also a key program area. We plan to host “bat talks” for the public and interested organizations or groups by request. This includes school groups ranging from preschool to Grade 12, as well as natural history or stewardship groups. We also work with municipalities interested in becoming Bat Friendly Communities.

Please get in touch with us if you are interested in having someone come out to perform a bat educational session for your group!

Bats of the Omineca region

Many BC bats find roosts and shelters in tree cavities, crevices, exfoliating bark, or foliage, typically selecting the largest available old-growth trees and snags.

Most bat species will move frequently among several roosts to adjust for seasonal changes in weather and in response to disturbances.  Bats prefer to fly along habitat edges when foraging or travelling, with most activity concentrated in wetlands, riparian zones or within natural openings in forested areas.

Only some of the bat species in the Omineca use buildings to roost.

Click here to learn more about Bats of BC

BC BAT SPECIES

FEDERAL STATUS

PROVINCIAL STATUS

ROOST IN:

ROOST PREFERENCES

BUILDINGS?

BAT BOXES?

Hoary Bat

(Lasiurus cinereus)

Not at risk*

Blue

No

No

Summer: Snags, trees

Winter: Migrates

Silver-haired Bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans)

Not at risk*

Not at risk

No

No

Summer: Trees, snags (cottonwoods)

Winter: Snags, mines, buildings, wood piles, rock piles

Big Brown Bat

(Eptesicus fuscus)

Not at risk

Not at risk

Common

Yes

Summer: Snags, cliffs, rock crevices

Winter: Buildings, mines

Northern Myotis

(Myotis septentrionalis)

Endangered

Blue

Rarely

No

Summer: Snags

Winter: Mines

Long-legged Myotis (Myotis volans)

Not at risk

Not at risk

Occasional

No

Summer: Cliffs, rock crevices, snags, stumps

Winter: Mines, caves, rock crevices

Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus)

Endangered

Blue

Common

Yes

Summer: Snags, rock crevices, cliffs, mines

Winter: Mines, caves, rock crevices

Long-eared Myotis 

(Myotis evotis)

Not at risk

Not at risk

Occasional

Yes

Summer: Cliffs, snags, stumps, talus slopes, rock outcrops, crevices, mines

Winter: Mines, buildings