The CRD is inviting nature enthusiasts as young as five to come down to Elk/Beaver Lake for an evening of bat appreciation this Sunday.
The CRD Regional Parks naturalist and the Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) will be hosting a guided walk from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 11, in hopes of helping attendees spot the elusive little creatures.
Organizers are hoping the walk will score everyone a view of the bats swooping through the night sky as they hunt for insects, said Estraven Lupino-Smith, the bat coordinator for HAT.
There are 10 species of bats on Vancouver Island, she pointed out. Some hibernate during the winter and others head south to find warmer weather. On Sunday, Lupino-Smith and the other event attendees will be looking for the little brown bats, or Myotis lucifugus.
They will also be taking the group over to the two bat boxes, or artificial roosts, in the park. The boxes are fairly large and can house up to 200 bats, Lupino-Smith explained.
She pointed out that at this time of year, the bats in the boxes are mostly pregnant females who are getting ready to give birth to their pups.
“It’s going to be lots of fun,” said Lupino-Smith. “It’s a great opportunity to see bats in our regional park and learn more about what they’re up to.”
Participants are asked to meet in the field near the filter beds parking lot. CRD events take place rain or shine, so attendees are advised to dress for the weather. Pets are not welcome on this guided walk.
Anyone interested in learning more about bats can contact HAT at 250-995-2428 or visit their website.