The presentation will cover legislation around whether or not bats are protected or endangered, what the law says about relocating bats (and how to do it), as well as threats to bats in B.C. and the Cariboo and bat houses.
Hill’s presentation is in partnership with the Community Bat Programs of B.C., which, in collaboration with the provincial government, provides resources to landowners dealing with bats, and engages “citizen scientists” to collect local data on bat populations.
One particular issue that both the Community Bat Programs of B.C. and Hill will focus on is White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). WNS is a fungal disease which is harmless to humans, but has resulted in the deaths of millions of bats in Canada and the U.S.
Something that Hill says can be done to limit the spread of WNS is relocating bats so colonies are better spread apart.
Another threat to bats, says Hill, is climate change. “There’s probably 30 different climate zones in BC and there’s up to 18 different species in BC in these different climate zones. So when these climate zones start changing, there’s a threat right there.
“Another threat is forest fires: bats get relocated really fast when the forest fires hit. Last year,a logging camp north of PG got hit with like thousands of bats out of literally nowhere.”
The camp reached out to Hill for bat houses to help relocate the animals, which had worked their way into bunkhouses, vehicles and even the cook shack.
More than just bats, Hill — and his business — is focused on conservation. “My company, it’s bird houses, bird feeders, mason bee houses, bat houses — lots of different things. I cherish life, I cherish the wild things around us. And the wild animals that are around us.”
Bats, in particular, he says, “are a cool animal. There’s nothing else like it.”
Hill likes having bats around his home, as they eat the mosquitoes which bother him. “600 mosquitoes an hour, 200 hundred bats at my house — you know that makes a big difference.”
He also makes presentations to schools, including a recent one on declining the bird populations.
He says his presentation on bats will run the full two hours. Anyone coming out to the presentation is asked to bring a lawnchair to sit in.