Going batty for bat houses

Edmonton and Area Land Trust volunteers raising a bat box on conservation lands northwest of Edmonton. Suncor recently contributed to this not-for-profit organization’s “Batty for Bat Houses” initiative.

From protecting pollinators to building bat houses for those small, but highly effective insect eaters, the little brown bat, the Edmonton and Area Land Trust (EALT) is dedicated to conserving vital natural areas and essential habitats in the Edmonton Region.

Suncor recently contributed to this not-for-profit organization’s “Batty for Bat Houses” initiative, providing funding for communications information as well as materials to enhance the roosting habitat in the natural areas where the bats live.

Canada’s endangered little brown bat can consume 600-1,000 mosquitoes, or mosquito-sized bugs, per hour, and eat more than half of their own body weight in insects each night.  However, their population has been under threat in parts of Canada due to a fungus called white-nose syndrome, and they have been losing their habitat at an alarming rate.

The EALT is enhancing bat habitats by building and installing bat boxes at many of their conserved natural areas. These bat boxes will provide roosts for bats near good foraging habitats, and will subsequently increase their success in raising healthy bat pups.

“As the weather warms and field season begins, we look forward to enhancing the habitat for endangered bats,” says Pam Wight, executive director, EALT. “Thanks to Suncor for their support.”

In April, 2018, several youth and young adults from Community Works Canada (CWC) and the Centre for Autism Services assisted The Edmonton and Area Land Trust (EALT) by assembling two bat boxes to provide roosting sites for maternal bat colonies on EALT’s conservation lands. The bat boxes will be installed this summer, along with interpretive signs about bats, the threats they face, and conservation of their habitat.

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