Let Sleeping Bats Lie

Bats don’t always hang upside down. Roofers replacing the roof of Stanley Park’s Dining Pavilion found this little silver haired bat tucked under the roof’s cedar shakes. Local bats are hibernating right now and they’ll fold themselves into tiny spaces like the folds of Douglas fir tree bark, or the small space under cedar shakes, to “sleep” until warmer spring temperatures arrive. Which means this bat was not yet ready to wake up. So, we called South Coast Bat conservation group (SCBats) to first identify the bat species and record its weight and age.

Bat biologist Felix Martinez identifies and measures a silver haired bat (Photo: SPES/Vanessa Sadler)

Park Board Biologist Nick Page helped SPES erect a bat box in Stanley Park and a SCBats scientist returned to release the little bat into the box. She eagerly climbed up inside and is likely resting there now until spring arrives.

The silver haired bat’s new home. (Photo: SPES/K.Stormont)

Why all this effort for one bat? Every individual counts as White Nose Syndrome, a disease devastating bat species across North America, is making its way to BC. Learn more about this disease here.

Please note that bats do carry rabies. Never handle a bat. Our bat expert was previously vaccinated against the disease and anyone else who handled the bat would have had to be examined for rabies.

The Dining Pavilion is getting a new lid. (Photo: SPES/K.Stormont)

As for the Dining Pavilion roof, work continues which includes seismic upgrades and a new cedar shake roof for the heritage building. Scaffolding and shrink wrap work began in January, providing a dry environment for the roofers. The roofers have almost completely removed all signs of the old roof and have been busy installing sheathing, peel-and-stick membrane, and wire mesh. New cedar shakes have arrived on site and should be going up any day! It is expected that the new roof will be completed by mid-March and the project will be completed by May 11, 2018. This project has involved successful collaboration between the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Park Board, and Stanley Park Ecology Society.