Denman has large maternal colonies of two rare-listed species of bats.
Townsend’s Big-eared bat
Denman’s Townsend’s Big-eared maternal bat colony is still flourishing in 2017. This colony is one of the biggest known in BC. The Townsend’s bat is Blue-listed in BC. Being on the “Blue list” in BC refers to “List of ecological community, and indigenous species and subspecies that are of special concern (formerly vulnerable) in British Columbia.” http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/plants-animals-ecosystems/conservation-data-centre/explore-cdc-data/glossary-for-species-ecosystems-at-risk
Elements are of special concern because of characteristics that make them particularly sensitive to human activities or natural events. Blue-listed elements are at risk, but are not Extirpated, Endangered or Threatened.
While the Townsend’s mums are busy raising their offspring in the maternal colony and hunting fields for bugs, the male Townsend’s may be foraging and resting all over Denman. The males will roost alone or in small groups in buildings or other sites. Learning the habitats for male Townsend’s is also important, so reporting single or multiple bat-roost sites provides valuable data. These roost site locations can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Little brown bat
Our other rare species is the Little Brown bat. This species is now on Canada’s Endangered species list due to White Nose Disease. An Endangered species is “a wildlife species that is facing imminent extirpation or extinction.” http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/plants-animals-ecosystems/conservation-data-centre/explore-cdc-data/glossary-for-species-ecosystems-at-risk
While the Little Brown bat was still considered common in BC as of 2016, the White Nose Disease fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans has been killing off these bats all across North America. This disease spread across from the east and last year was found on a bat in Washington State. Both Big brown and Little brown bats are at risk.
We are hoping that by providing enhanced bat-habitat, becoming bat-knowledgeable and by counting our bats, we will retain this valuable species or at least know that they have been affected. We will be repeating the guano genetics at the Old School house, as well as Anabat acoustic (bat echolocation call) identification around the island this summer to track various bat species, particularly our Little brown bats.