Friday, July 20, 2007

batty neighbors

Q. When does reverence for nature turn to lunacy?

A. When it's against the law to remove a colony of nesting bats from your house!


That's the batty world a West-end Vancouver couple of living in right now. As a Wednesday Vancouver Sun article explains:

A Vancouver couple with as many as 80 bats living in the walls of their West End condo are going to have to live with them for now because the bats are protected under the B.C. Wildlife Act.

They can't be disturbed during their breeding period from May to August. Anyone caught capturing bats may face fines of up to $345 per animal.

Miles Nurse, who co-owns the $509,000 condo with his girlfriend Jennifer Plomt, has been told by a pest control company it may take until the end of August for the bat pups hanging around the place to be mature enough to move. - Read entire

When the couple found a baby bat in their bed they began to get really worried. Bats are the No. 1 rabies carriers in our province. They and their dog are now getting a series of rabies shots.

Help may be on the way, however. B.C. Environment Minster Barry Penner in a show of common sense, said his ministry could issue a permit for the critters to be removed sooner.

Besides being a rabies risk, the bats are also messy (condo owner Nurse said he has cleaned "buckets of bat feces from inside the third floor penthouse walls") and noisy (Nurse:"We've been hearing them at night a log --high-pitched squeals-- and if we leave our bedroom blinds open, it's a bat show"). Mother bats leave their young in the condo at night to go out and feed.

Though the condo bats have not been identified, the most common species in B.C. are little brown bats, big brown bats and Yuma Myotis.

More about bats:

- Bat pestpage
- British Columbia Bat Resources
- Bats of British Columbia (features interviews with various bat species)

Photo Credit: Bat Photos

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