Bat Week? It’s for the bats!

Bat Week? It’s for the bats!

 

October 24, 2019

As Halloween approaches, bat enthusiasts around BC are celebrating and supporting bats by participating in International Bat Week (October 24-31).

Bat Week is all about appreciating these amazing animals and their benefits, from eating insects to pollinating the agave plant used to make tequila.  Take a moment to learn about the many ways bats contribute to our lives, and what you can do locally for bats, at www.batweek.org or through the BC Community Bat Program at www.bcbats.ca.

“Bats in BC help control agricultural and forest pests, as well as mosquitoes in our yards - but now bats need our help” says Mandy Kellner, Coordinator for the BC Community Bat Program. “The conservation of bats in BC has always been important, since over half the species in this province are considered at risk. With the continuing spread of White-nose Syndrome in Washington State, bat conservation is more important than ever.”

White-nose Syndrome (WNS) is a disease caused by an introduced fungus, first detected in North America in a cave in New York in 2006. Since it was discovered, it has spread to 33 states and 7 provinces in North America, decimating bat populations along the way. “Luckily, WNS is not yet in BC” continues Kellner, “But we are preparing for its arrival by raising awareness about bats, working with landowners who have bats in buildings, enhancing bat habitat, and monitoring populations.

Monitoring for WNS in BC will continue this winter, with Community Bat Programs requesting reports of dead bats or sightings of winter bat activity starting November 1. You can report sightings at www.bcbats.ca, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or 1-855-922-2287.

Are you a bat hero? DONATE TO THE HAT BAT PROGRAM

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Volunteer Spotlight October 2019 - Wilson Tutube

For the past three year HAT has been working with Nuu-chah-nulth artist and entrepreneur Wilson Tutube as our local artist “in habitat.” A full time entrepreneur, Wilson has often shared his art with HAT which we have used on the promotional materials for a number of events. We have even collaborated on two Facebook-based contests where members of our community nominated a species and winners received an original Tutube of the winning species (keep your eyes on Facebook for more opportunities like this in the future)!

Wilson often visits the HAT office and often spends time showing HAT staff what he’s working on while looking and listening for inspiration. As a volunteer who creates images to be used on event media such as poster, newsletter and forums (just to name a few) Wilson is always interested in finding new ways to represent the spirit of a more-than-human neighbours through combining modern techniques with Nuu-chah-nulth tradition.

Most recently we have used his art in bringing awareness to the local bat population.  The 2019 Bat Bash used Wilson’s image of a bat in a posters and across social media promoting the popular event. An image of Wilson’s bat has also made its way onto several of the bat boxes that are used in residential areas for the roosting colonies.

Wilson also has sold some of his art pieces to our staff for their use in private homes.

Over the past three years we have watched Wilson grow and his creativity spread across mediums. One example, (pictured above) was Wilson’s making of an owl mask for Halloween, showing that his talents are not limited to the canvas and computer screen.

We have benefited from Wilson’s support and initiative, and are very excited that he is always keen to work with a not for profit organisation like Habitat Acquisition Trust!

Kleco, Kleco Wilson!

An example of Wilson's art - The blending of the traditional and the modern for HAT's "Bat Bash" promotion

 

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Fridays at the HAT Hive

Fall is coming, and judging by September's rain, it isn't far off!

Fall also brings with it a little bit of change. It's a season of transition, and in keeping with that tone, HAT has some changes to it's hours for the Fall. HAT's office will now be opened Monday-Thursday from 9am - 5pm, and will be closed Fridays (by appointment only). We're still happy to make time for members of the HAT community, so if Friday is the only day that you can make it out to our Burnside Road East Hive, please let us know and we can book an appointment.

Thanks for all of your support, and for your interest. We're so happy when the HAT Hive is a buzz with activity, and we look forward to having the chance to chat face-to-face.

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Volunteer Spotlight September 2019 - Karen Mann

In this September edition of HAT’s volunteer spotlight, we’d like to introduce you all to Karen Mann! Born and raised in Victoria, BC, Karen says that she has seen Greater Victoria change quickly, especially in the last 10 years. “We are losing all the little pockets of natural flora. I love that HAT facilitates the preservation natural areas.” It is that love local places and the more-than-human neighbours that share them with us that brought Karen to start volunteering with HAT about three years ago while looking for ways to use her knowledge and experience.

“I have worked with plants and soil‘s all my life and I’m certified in landscape design, currently working at LandStory Design Associates. Most recently I extend my education with Restoration of Natural Systems at University of Victoria. I have practical experience in stream restoration.” With that wealth of knowing, and with her passion for hiking with her dog, creating outdoor spaces that bring peace and serenity and learning about growing vegetables, we at HAT consider ourselves really lucky to have someone like Karen willing to spend some time on habitat management and restoration on the conservation areas that HAT stewards.

“I hope to continue learning until I die and this position here at HAT will help me explore areas I haven’t any experience in. I’m looking forward to learning from co-worker’s knowledge and their different ways of approaching problems.”

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Ripping & Stripping at Havenwood

One of the best kept secrets in Colwood is a small park of 40 acres, on either sides of the Veteran Memorial Parkway near Latoria Road.  Most people might know the park as a great place to walk your dog or exercise going up the 90 steps and then back down as fast as you can.  One lady I talked to has to keep pebbles on one side to remember how many ups she has done.

Another activity in the park is on Friday mornings, when a small, dedicated team helps in the remediation of invasive species in the park.  This team has been meeting, come rain or shine, for over 5 years and have been removing the scotch broom, blackberries, daphne laurel and holly.   

Havenwood Park has two main trails and provides access to Lookout Lake. One of the smaller trails, the Olympic View Trail slopes upward to an incredible view point over the forest and across the Salish Sea to the Olympic Mountains in the distance.

If you want to join in the team fun of restoring the park all you just need about 2 hours of your time every Friday morning.  Everyone is welcome.  Contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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