Learn more about bats at upcoming workshops
The Haliburton Highlands Land Trust (HHLT) has been approved to continue with the second year of its two-year grant by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Species at Risk Stewardship Fund.
The primary focus of the grant in Year One was to identify the bat species and their distribution in Haliburton County. More than 40 locations were visited and tens of thousands of bat calls were recorded.
“Though anecdotally we know that bat populations are not as high as they once were, it is good news that we have documented all eight species found in the province, including the four endangered species: the little brown myotis, eastern small–footed myotis, northern myotis and tri-coloured bat,” stated Paul Heaven, wildlife biologist and principal investigator for the Bat Project.
HHLT is once again asking the community to report any bat observations this year directly to their office administrator, Christel Furniss, firstname.lastname@example.org or 705-457-3700. Of particular interest is the presence of large numbers of bats at a specific location, as this may represent a roost site.
HHLT also monitors all species at risk in the county, so please continue to submit all species at risk observations to Paul Heaven, email@example.com or 705-286-3181.
Year Two will follow-up on active bat sites found in 2017. An examination of activity identified six sites that represent probable maternity roosts of the little brown myotis and seven sites that represent possible maternity roosts of the eastern small-footed myotis, northern myotis or tri-coloured bat.
All 13 sites have been identified for further investigation during the 2018 field season. These actions directly meet critical actions identified in the northern myotis, eastern small-footed myotis, little brown myotis and tri-coloured bat provincial recovery strategies. There will also be continued observations and documentation on all properties (approximately 700 acres) that HHLT currently owns, manages and protects.
“Remember that bats play an important role in the environment. They are nature’s environmentally friendly insecticide,” says Mary-Lou Gerstl, HHLT chair, “Bats can consume thousands of mosquitoes and other insect pests in one night.”
Learn more about these fascinating, beneficial creatures by attending HHLT’s presentation by one of the world’s foremost authorities on bats, Brock Fenton, professor emeritus of biology/UWO, “Exploring the Lives of Bats” at the Minden Hills Cultural Centre on May 26, at 7 p.m.
Last year HHLT hosted an extremely successful bat box building workshop. Given the overwhelming response and interest from the community, the HHLT is pleased to announce that this year they will be hosting two more bat box building workshops, in partnership with Abbey Gardens and Haliburton Highlands Outdoors Association. Come out and build your own bat box to help reduce the number of biting insects on your property. The first workshop will be held Saturday, June 9 at The Fish Hatchery and the second will be Saturday, July 21 at Abbey Gardens. They both start at 10 a.m. and end approximately at noon. Kits will be supplied. Registration is limited so don’t be disappointed. Register today at www.haliburtonlandtrust.ca.
To learn more about the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust, please visit www.haliburtonlandtrust.ca or call 705-457-3700.
Submitted by HHLT