Going Batty at Kus-kus-sum

Got bats?  Kus-kus-sum does!  On Monday, July 22nd Project Watershed Directors were joined by Councillor Doug Hillian, Mayor Bob Wells and their families for a tour of the Kus-kus-sum property hosted by the Cumberland Bat Program.  Tim Ennis, Project Manager for the Kus-kus-sum project, is also the co-founder of the Cumberland Bat Project (CBP) along with Meaghan Cursons.  With support from CBP’s environmental monitor, Tony Billie, the three provided an educational presentation about bats, and then showed off the ultra-sonic acoustic monitoring equipment they use to record and identify bats as they fly overhead.  The group was treated to an aerial display by several Little Brown Bats, a federally Endangered species that is currently quite common in the Comox Valley.

Unfortunately, Little Brown Bats are susceptible to a disease known as White Nose Syndrome that has not yet arrived on Vancouver Island, but is expected to do so in the next few years.  White Nose Syndrome has been responsible for killing upwards of 90% of Little Brown Bats in affected colonies.  A promising new treatment for the disease is currently under development, and the CBP is working hard to identify roost sites in the Comox Valley so it can be applied to the bats before White Nose Syndrome arrives.  Protecting and restoring riparian and wetland habitat is one of the best things we can do to support bat populations and the Kus-kus-sum project will do just that! Find out more about Kus-kus-sum…

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