Bat Friendly Communities of the South Okanagan

The British Columbia Conservation Foundation with Community Bat Programs of BC

The British Columbia Conservation Foundation (BCCF), a charitable not-for-profit society developed an important niche managing and administrating conservation projects in partnership with various funders. This enabled BCCF to support the efforts of local conservation organizations in their efforts to enhance and conserve fish and wildlife populations. For over 50 years, BCCF has implemented conservation projects working with First Nations, all levels of governments, non-governmental organizations, industry, private groups, and educational institutions.

Over the next three years, the BC Community Bat Program (under the British Columbia Conservation Foundation) – Okanagan Region will be working towards establishing Bat Friendly Communities with partners in Kaleden, Penticton, Naramata and the Osoyoos rural area. They will raise awareness about the importance of bats through presentations, community events, recruiting volunteers, offering Bat Ambassador training workshops, and forming working groups that can implement Bat-Friendly Communities. Also, they will be mapping where bat colonies using anthropogenic structures are located, as well as monitoring bat populations with annual bat counts. Bat conservation is important in the Okanagan as it has the highest diversity of bats in Canada and most of them are listed ‘at risk’.

This project is the first year of a 3-year request. Approved by Regional District Okanagan Similkameen Board and $33,787 was allocated from the South Okanagan Conservation Fund in 2022. The project is expected to complete by January 31, 2025.