The PWA has participated in the NA Bat Monitoring Program (NABat) since 2019 in partnership with the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada (WCSC). NABat monitoring is conducted across North America. The WCSC bat biologist works primarily with BC Parks. The PWA is one of the only non-profit organizations in BC that takes on this monitoring program.
This project collects data on bat populations to observe changes locally and regionally across North America and will help detect the spread of white-nose syndrome.
This year focused on acoustic surveys and used driving transects (done twice in one week – records bat detections from a moving vehicle) as well as stationary acoustic monitoring (SAM). For SAM, the community is divided into quadrants and the acoustic unit is deployed for ten days in each quadrant. Volunteers supporting the installation included Ally Truscott, PWA director and bat monitoring expert; Ashleigh Woodruff and her friends Anna Tiedamen and Flora Zijnen; and Valeinna Dimma and Dawn Johnson.
The data collected allows monitoring activity levels of different species and comparative activity over time. The data has been transferred to the Wildlife Conservation Society and will be analyzed by experts.
An initial review of recordings shows quite a few detections, but these numbers are preliminary until expertly analyzed by project partners.
The first driving transect, on June 2, show 147 detections. The second driving transect picked up 112 recordings. In 2020, less than 15 recordings were captured on either night so this appears to be a marked increase.
The SAM sites had a range of successes, but all recorded a significant increase in detections compared to 2020.