Enhancing Bat Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Lands of the Lower Fraser River Valley
Bats provide economically significant, ecosystem services to the agricultural industry around the world. In British Columbia, the specific benefits to various agricultural sectors have not been identified, and are still not well understood. We are investigating the role of bats as natural predators of insect crop pests in farmlands and developing techniques that will increase opportunities for natural pest control in different crops. We will generate valuable information on ecosystem services provided by bats before White-nose Syndrome (WNS), an infectious disease obliterating bat populations across North America, hits British Columbia in the next couple of years, reducing the number of bats drastically. Our project will happen at a critical stage for bat population given the imminent threat of WNS to BC.
Funding for this project has been provided in part by the governments of Canada and British Columbia through the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC.
The Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia and the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC, are pleased to participate in the delivery of this project. We are committed to working with our partners to address issues of importance to the agriculture and agri‐food industry in British Columbia. Opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia and the Investment Agriculture Foundation.
The “Got Bats” initiative promotes conservation of bats on private land, provides a resource to landowners dealing with bat issues, and engages citizen scientists to collect data on bat populations.
The success of identifying roost sites for species at risk and the enthusiasm of residents to report their bats and conserve their roost sites or consider sensitive methods for removing bats from their homes continues to drive the success of these projects.
Please contact us if you have bats in your buildings, would like to volunteer your time to build or monitor bat-houses, or are interested in booking an educational program.
Bat Houses Workshops
A bat house is a great way to encourage healthy urban bat populations. A bat house provides bats with a warm, dry and safe summer roost site. Similar to birdhouses, they are often wooden “boxes” that can be installed on a high structure like a tall post or a building.
However, unlike birdhouses, bat houses need to be designed and located based on specific criteria.
Many people want bats because they want to promote backyard biodiversity or help control insects (particularly mosquitoes). Some people install bat houses in coordination with evicting bats from a building so that the bats will have an alternative roost site and the eviction will be more successful.
Please contact us if you would like us to deliver a bat house workshop in your community.
White-nose Syndrome Surveillance