Glory Hills: Gone to the Bats

We wanted to enhance bat habitat and we succeeded! EALT and volunteers hiked into Glory Hills on a clear evening in June to see if the bats had discovered the four bat boxes we installed almost one year ago. With the backdrop of flashing fireflies and the sounds of waterfowl, we watched the boxes with a bird-of-prey-like intensity as the sunset faded to dusk. A cry of excitement ripped through the air as the first bat emerged! Other bats joined it in the evening sky to kick off the night’s mosquito feeding frenzy! Using both our eyes and bat call recording equipment, which detects the ultrasonic calls of bat, we confirmed one bat species as the Little Brown Bat which is endangered. There were likely several other bat species present as well.

 Lake at Glory Hills at dusk

Lake at Glory Hills at dusk

 Screenshot from the Echo Touch Meter App

Screenshot from the Echo Touch Meter App

We identified bat species using a combination of the Echo Meter Touch, a bat-call recorder, and the free Echo Meter Touch app. The Echo Meter recorded all the surrounding noise and the Meter Touch app used its Auto-ID feature to identify the recorded bat species in real time by comparing the recording with specific species’ calls.

Bat boxes serve as an alternate habitat for bats if appropriate large trees are limited due to habitat loss. The bat species most likely to use the bat box is the Little Brown Bat. This species is endangered in Canada due to a disease, the white-nose syndrome, and due to habitat loss which is where EALT can help.

EALT bat box.JPG

These bat boxes were raised in July 2017 as part of EALT’s Bat Conservation Project, to enhance bat habitat. We are grateful to Suncor for providing additional funds this year to help us monitor and build more bat boxes. If you would like to help bats and have a good place to install a bat box, you can improve bat habitat by building bat boxes with our blueprints for Rocket Bat Boxes and Four Chambered Bat Boxes.