The BC Community Bat Program is seeking volunteers and bat colonies for its annual bat count.
The initiative encourages residents to count bats at local roost sites.
“Bat counts are a wonderful way for residents to get involved in collecting important scientific information” said biologist Mandy Kellner, co-ordinator of the program.
“No special skills are needed. You can be any age and you can relax in a deck chair while counting.”
The count will collect baseline data on bat populations before the devastating white nose syndrome fungal disease affects bats in the province.
White nose syndrome is estimated to have killed more than seven-million bats since it was first discovered in eastern North America a decade ago.
In March 2016, the disease was detected just east of Seattle and has now spread within Washington state.
Kellner said counting bats is easy.
Volunteers wait outside a known roost site, such as a bat house, barn, bridge or attic, and count bats as they fly out at twilight.
Volunteers record the final number, along with basic information on weather conditions.
One count, when pups are born, will conclude this week.
Volunteers can take part in the next count — between July 11 and Aug. 5, when pups are flying.
To learn more about bat counts or to get help dealing with bat issues, call 1-855-9BC-BATS or go online to bcbats.ca.