Coast Wildlife

Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project


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Bat Surveys

Bats are essential components of British Columbia’s biodiversity. Outdoor enthusiasts need only look up to the sky at sunset to enjoy the aerial acrobatics of bats as they hunt for insects, an activity that contributes to the health of ecosystems across the province. Unfortunately, bats are also highly threatened.

Half of BC’s 16 bat species are listed as Species at Risk. Although many species have broad geographic ranges, within their ranges distributions are often patchy, and local populations may be reduced or eliminated as the result of human activity. Many populations are experiencing alarming reductions. Bats have extraordinarily low reproductive output for a small mammal, typically rearing only one young per year. Therefore, they are extremely slow to recover from population declines.

Of particular concern is Keen’s long-eared myotis (Myotis keenii). This bat is red-listed (=threatened or endangered) in British Columbia and has the most restricted range of any North American bat, confined to the coniferous forests of coastal BC, southeast Alaska and northwest Washington.

We are conducting mist net surveys to assess the distribution and abundance of bat species on the Sunshine Coast. Where long-eared bats are trapped, we are using radio telemetry to track individual bats in order to evaluate habitat use and identify critical habitat elements for conservation, such as roosts, maternity and hibernation sites.

To learn more about bat species on the Sunshine Coast, please click here to visit our Bat Species page.

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