Bats, man!

A Townsend’s Big-Eared Bat hangs on the side of a building. If you’re noticing more bats around your property than usual, don’t be alarmed.

If you’re noticing more bats around your property than usual, don’t be alarmed.

“Mid-summer is the time when landowners typically notice more bat activity, may have bats flying into their house, and occasionally find a bat on the ground or roosting in unusual locations. These surprise visitors are usually the young pups,” the Okanagan Community Bat Program said in a news release on Thursday.

In July and August, pups are learning to fly, and their early efforts may land them in locations where they are more likely to come in contact with humans,” said Paula Rodriguez de la Vega, ecologist and co-ordinator with the bat program.

The long spell of hot dry weather has also made bats, like humans, desperate for a drink and more likely to come out before darkness to satisfy their thirst, Rodriguez de la Vega said.

The Okanagan bat program is part of the provincewide BC Community Bat Program, funded by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, the Habitat Stewardship Program, and the provincial government. 

It has received numerous calls reporting bats in unusual locations this summer.

“For landowners who find a bat in need of assistance or find dead bats in the Okanagan/Similkameen valleys, please call our toll free number 1-855-9BC-BATS ext.13,” said Rodriguez de la Vega. 

Bats in B.C. have very low levels of rabies infections, but any risk of transmission should not be treated lightly, the release said.

Under the B.C. Wildlife Act, it is illegal to exterminate or harm bats.

“We offer advice and support for homeowners who are either wanting to co-exist with bats or evict bats that are roosting in a building, said Rodriguez de la Vega.

Email the group at Okanagan@bcbats.ca.

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