IntroductionThe Christina Lake Stewardship Society (CLSS) is interested in participating in a bat conservation effort sponsored by Juliet Craig of the Kootenay Community Bat Project. The CLSS is hoping to enlist volunteers to help build bat houses, find locations for them, and install them. We are planning to collaborate with the Granby Wilderness Society and the Boundary Invasive Species Committee. In the summer, mother bats form large maternity colonies where they raise their pups. These colonies need to be very warm, high off the ground, and in an area free of clutter. The bats mate in the fall and then move to hibernation sites for the winter (usually caves or old mine adits).
Project Specifics:We need volunteers to commit to building bat houses, as well as monitoring of these houses to determine usage by the bats. The cost of the building supplies will be reimbursed. The bat houses would ideally be placed on the private property of volunteers, or park areas that are deemed safe. Areas in close proximity to schools are not recommended. Bats prefer roosting near water, in diverse habitat and in openings. Ideally, the bat houses should be set up in permanent monitoring locations. The bat houses need to be placed high up, ideally on 15-20ft posts, on the south side of a barn or house, or tall tree with no lower branches. Preferably, each site will have 2 bat houses. If they are installed on posts, one post will have a Rocket Box style house, and the other post will have two multi-chambered nursery boxes placed back to back. These boxes are quite large and heavy, and will require a ‘work party’ in order to install them safely and efficiently. If they are installed on barns or other walls, two nursery boxes can be installed.
Timeline:The female bats require these boxes in the summer months while raising their young. We would be looking to establish sites and source supplies this summer. Juliet Craig will come to the Boundary Region to give a public presentation on bats, followed by an evening field excursion with the bat detector. This will most likely happen in the late summer or fall. If the boxes are built this year, we can install them in the spring of 2013, and follow up with monitoring throughout the summer, including the annual bat count.