The Habitat Acquisition Trust is preparing a colony of Dark Night volunteers for the Capital Region’s annual bat count.

Dark Night volunteers counting bats

The citizen-science initiative encourages residents to count bats at local roost sites.

Tired of counting sheep? How about bats?

The Habitat Acquisition Trust is preparing a colony of Dark Night volunteers for the Capital Region’s annual bat count.

The citizen-science initiative encourages residents to count bats at local roost sites.

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. They record the final number along with basic information on weather. Ideally, one to two counts are done between June 1 and 21 before pups are born, and one to two more between July 21 and Aug. 15 when the pups are flying.

“We know relatively little about bats on Southern Vancouver Island, including basic information on population numbers,” says Paige Erickson-McGee, stewardship coordinator at Habitat Acquisition Trust

“This information will be extremely valuable, particularly if it is collected annually. If people want to get involved but don’t have a roost site on their property, we will try to match them with a roost site nearby.”

The bat count is part of the B.C. Community Bat Program of Southern Vancouver Island.

To find out more about bat counting, get assistance dealing with bat issues, or if you know of a roost location, please go online to bcbats.ca or call 1-855-922-2287 or email hatmail@hat.bc.ca.