Awarded to the Rocky Mountain Trench Natural Resources  Society to promote and conserve the variety of bat species and their associated habitats that exist in the Upper Columbia Valley.

PROPONENT: Rocky Mountain Trench Natural Resources Society

DESCRIPTION: Bats provide an invaluable contribution to the health of ecosystems and human economies through their role as the primary predators of night‐flying insects. Despite this invaluable role, myths and misinformation about bats thrive and they are often misunderstood and persecuted. Habitat loss either from advertent or inadvertent human activities (e.g. roost destruction, wetland conversion, etc.) represent a large threat to bats, particularly to those species that occur in anthropogenic structures. The most recent and serious threat to bats, however, is from a deadly fungal disease called White Nose Syndrome. It has decimated bat populations in eastern North America and has recently appeared in Washington State. Due to its proximity, WNS is on the verge of entering BC and bat conservation throughout the province is more important than ever.

OBJECTIVE: Overall, the goal of the Kootenay Community Bat Project – Upper Columbia Valley is to promote and conserve the variety of bat species (red, blue and yellow‐listed species) and their associated habitats that exist in the upper Columbia River valley. The Kootenay Community Bat Project (KCBP) accomplishes this by addressing bat conservation in three important ways: supporting landowners, increasing awareness, and promoting citizen science. KCBP supports landowners by helping them mitigate bat issues, enhance bat habitat, and encourage them to monitor their bats. KCBP increases awareness by connecting with people through community presentations & events, press releases, posters, and social media. And finally, KCBP encourages with citizens to get involved in citizen science initiatives such as the annual bat count.

PHOTO: Cori Lausen

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