Batting for bats!

It is bat survey season again! The SPES conservation team and volunteers collaborating with BC Community Bat Program (BCCBP) (https://www.bcbats.ca/) started conducting emergence count surveys this spring to determine if the Stanley Park Pavilion is once again occupied as a roost by bats . And, yes, we can confirm it is! On May 21, as many as 290 bats were counted flying out of the attic. The Echo Meter Touch auto-ID App indicates that the species roosting in the Pavilion are most likely Yuma myotis (Myotis yumanensis), little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus), and silver-haired bats (Lasionycteris noctivagans), but further analysis is needed to confirm the species.

The Stanley Park Pavilion attic is home to 3 species of bats. (Photo: Ariane Comeau/SPES)

Last year, a total of six species were confirmed in Stanley Park, which were big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus), California myotis (Myotis californicus), hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus), little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus), silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans), and Yuma myotis (Myotis yumanensis). Bats were documented flying and foraging at the Pavilion, Stanley Park Railway, Vancouver Rowing Club, and Beaver Lake. The roost in the Stanley Park Pavilion’s attic was predominantly occupied by Yuma myotis and California myotis, with a possible minor component of little brown myotis. It appeared that roofing work at the Pavilion in 2018 did not stop bats from utilizing the attic as a roost.

Yuma myotis being held by a bat researcher. (Photo: Jenn Barrett/BCCBP)

The Little brown myotis is listed as endangered on Schedule 1 of the federal Species at Risk Act, mostly threatened by the white-nose syndrome. With the white-nose syndrome spreading at an alarming rate from Eastern to Western America, surveying the health of bat colonies is crucial. Sadly in March 2019, the first western long-eared myotis (Myotis evotis) with white-nose syndrome was found in Washington state near Seattle: https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/first-western-long-eared-bat-white-nose-syndrome-found-washington

How You Can Help Bats

  • Help SPES and BCCBP survey selected buildings in Stanley Park that may be occupied by bats. If you want to get involved in bat surveys, please contact Meghan Cooling, Conservation Technician at technician@stanleyparkecology.ca
  • Report known roost sites, dead bats, and unusual late winter bat behavior (e.g., bats flying during the daytime) to vancouver@bcbats.ca or call 1-855-922-2287 ext. 11
  • If you have installed a bat house, register your bat house at bcbats.ca and join the BC Annual Bat Count in June. 
  • Be a bat advocate, learn about these fascinating animals and educate your friends and families about their benefits, and the threats they face

By Ariane Comeau, Conservation Projects Manager