The activities of the Cumberland Bat Project were noticed by the BC Community Bat Program, and we were invited to take on the responsibilities of a local chapter of the BCCBP. Some funding to support this work is gratefully provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC and the Habitat Stewardship Program of Environment Canada through the BC Conservation Foundation. Most of the work is achieved with significant volunteer effort. The work of the BCCBP and its regional chapters includes the “Got Bats?” program providing support to landowners and other people that discover bats in their buildings (e.g., attics) or other places. By providing factual science-based information about bats, most landowners are now choosing to cohabitate with bats where it is safe to do so. In other cases where bats need to be excluded, we work with landowners to comply with the relevant laws (e.g., Wildlife Act) and provide bat boxes to encourage the ethical exclusion of bats from buildings.
The BCCBP is also active in monitoring bat populations at known roost sites with volunteers. The Annual Bat Count takes place in June each year, and the North Island Chapter is very busy in monitoring maternal colonies at roost sites. Our program includes the North Island area roughly from Bowser north to Port Hardy and includes islands in the Discovery and Broughton Archipelagos. (Denman and Hornby islands have their own Community Bat Program.) There is currently no Central Vancouver Island Community Bat program, so we work with our partners at the Habitat Acquisition Trust who sponsor the South Island Chapter of the Community Bat Program to do what we can to support bats there. We are always looking for more volunteers to help with the Annual Bat Counts and other things. For more information about the kinds of projects we undertake as a part of the BC Community Bat Program, please visit the BCCBP website. To reach us directly for any bat-related issues you can contact us at [email protected]