The highlights from Year 1 (2019-20), Year 2 (2020-21), Year 3 (2021-22) and Year 4 (2022-23) are listed below.

Year 1 Highlights

This map shows the bat monitoring grid cells in the Kootenay Connect areas and in the Columbia Basin overall.

This map shows the bat detection infrastructure within and around the NABAT monitoring program grid cell in the Bonanza Corridor.

Year 2 Highlights

As fewer old growth trees remain on the scape, there is less habitat remaining for the endangered Long-eared Myotis. This video provides an overview of the installation of two bark roost poles in an area where Long-eared Myotis was detected.

This video provides an overview of the development of the North American Bat Monitoring Program grid cell framework and its application in the Kootenay Connect project.

In 2020, acoustic bat detectors were deployed in six North American Bat Monitoring (NABat) grid cells in the Kootenay Connect wetland corridors. The North American Bat Monitoring program is a multi-agency initiative designed by US and Canadian biologists and statisticians, coordinated continentally by the US Geological Survey (USGS) and implemented in British Columbia by Wildlife Conservation Society Canada. The goal is to increase baseline monitoring, facilitating diversity and relative abundance trend analyses. In areas such as BC where WNS has not yet been found.

This report outlines the installation of artificial old growth maternity roosts to connect old growth forest patches and wetland and riverine riparian habitat in the Golden area. Current project pilot enhancements will mimic an old growth habitat corridor for Northern myotis but is likely to benefit other bat species that depend on old growth in the East Kootenays. Habitat enhancement techniques that increase the availability of optimal roosting locations or corridors between old growth patches for bats may help in the recovery of bat species affected by cumulative landscape alterations. 

Year 3 Highlights

The bat conservation component of Kootenay Connect consists of 3 main activities: monitoring, inventory, and roost habitat enhancement. 

Year 4 Highlights

Year 4 was another successful year for the bat component of Kootenay Connect. This video summarizes conservation and monitoring work done in 2022, including the building and installation of bat condos and the creation of more tree roosting sites for bats throughout the Columbia Basin. 

The bat conservation component of Kootenay Connect consists of 3 main activities: monitoring, inventory, and roost habitat enhancement. We track species diversity and relative abundance through annual acoustic monitoring of bat echolocation calls using bat detectors. In 2022, we once again acoustically recorded bats in all four of the Kootenay Connect focal regions for a total of 6 NABat grid cells: Creston Valley, Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor, Kimberley/Wycliffe, and Columbia Valley. We also conducted our second summer of monitoring two old-growth mimic tree roosts that we created in fall 2020 in the North Columbia area near Donald, and our first summer of monitoring the 12 tree roosts we created in 2021. In addition, we conducted a 9-night capture inventory at multiple sampling locations across the Columbia Valley ranging as far north as Kinbasket Reservoir. As our roost enhancements’ target species at risk, our goal was to determine where the nearest Northern Myotis could be located, given that this is one of two endangered Myotis in the Columbia Basin.