Quick Bat Facts:
- Bats are the only mammal that can truly fly
- Bats are not rodents and are protected under the ‘BC Wildlife Act’
- Bats rarely carry rabies and will sicken and die if they contract it, unlike some other animals that are unaffected carriers
- Bats use a lot of energy to fly with their heartrate reaching up to 1000 beats per minute
- Since the devastating introduced fungus causing ‘White Nose Syndrome’ was introduced to eastern North America in 2006, an estimated 6 million bats have died.
- BC has the greatest diversity of bats of any province
- Half of the sixteen bat species in BC are listed as venerable or threatened
It might surprise you to learn that bats are huge consumers of many different insects. A lactating female bat may consume her own body weight or more in insects in one night. As such, bats are extremely beneficial in the ecosystem for reducing or controlling flying insects.
The smallest bat in BC is the Western small-footed bat weighing about 1 gram at birth. The largest bat in BC is the hoary bat at 28.5 grams and a wingspan of 39 cm. Little brown bats have lived as long as 39 years. Many bat species in Canada produce a single pup per year.