Bat Week Day 4: What can I do?
What can I do to help?
This is a question that enters many people’s minds when they hear of the challenges facing bat populations. Today, on day 4 of Bat Week, we hope to provide you with some ideas!
1. Get Involved
Bat Week is an annual, international celebration of the role of bats in nature. Bat Week is organized by a team of representatives from Bat Conservation International, Organization for Bat Conservation, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Acoustics, Lubee Bat Conservancy and the Save Lucy Campaign. The organizers have developed a great resource page with ideas for little and big things you can do to make a difference.
On October 31, Bat Week partners and people across North America will attempt a world record for most bat houses built in a day. They’re shooting for 5,000 new bat houses! That means a lot of safe and happy homes for bats to raise their pups. By being a part of it, you will be making the environment a whole lot healthier. Click here to find a participating event near you!
Help The Bats is the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s response to ensure Canadian bat populations are protected. The Help The Bats program engages schools and other groups in learning about Canadian bat species and the current threats to their survival, including habitat loss and white nose syndrome. This outreach program has engaged over 2,000 schools and groups across Canada, with a citizen science component that has distributed hundreds of bat boxes and educational materials, all designed to encourage people to monitor bats in their area and share their data.
You can get involved too through a toolkit of activities that includes things you can do in your community to help CWF Help the Bats!
The Neighborhood Bat Watch is asking for the participation of citizens to locate bat colonies and count the number of bats living in them. These important pieces of information will help them to monitor and develop strategies to conserve these important animals. They also aim to raise public awareness about bats and encourage private citizens and schools to set up bat houses. You will be able to upload the location of a colony and a count of the number of bats living in the colony. This website is a collaborative effort among researchers in Québec, Ontario, and Manitoba.
2. Help minimize human-caused spread of white-nose syndrome
Also, our CWHC white-nose syndrome coordinator has partnered with the Parks Canada Agency (PCA) in the production of a decontamination video outlining the steps to proper handling and decontamination of clothing and equipment during and after bat hibernacula visits. We thank Parks Canada staff for taking on the production of this video and delivering a great product and resource. The CWHC will continue working with PCA and many other partners to produce additional resources that help us battle bat white-nose syndrome.
If you are a bat researcher or spelunker, understanding and following this protocol will go a long way toward minimizing the human-caused spread of white-nose syndrome.
Click here for the French version of the video.
3. Spread the word!
Although people’s attitudes toward bats are improving, bats continue to be a very misunderstood group of mammals. Help spread the word about the importance of bats and the need to help conserve these fascinating animals!
Submitted by Jordi Segers (CWHC National Office, CWHC Atlantic) & Erin Moffatt (CWHC National Office)