Floating Ideas Lecture - November 14th, 2018 at 7:00pm (Doors open 6:30pm)

Going batty? Join Parks Canada scientists for an evening learning about bats. Bats are fascinating mammals and one of the most often misunderstood animals on Earth. Bats play an important role in our ecosystems by consuming large numbers of nocturnal flying insects. There are at least 10 species of bats on Southern Vancouver Island, including many species at risk.  While there are many reasons why bat species are of conservation concern — including habitat loss and disturbance of roost sites — the single greatest threat to bats is white-nose syndrome. Bat populations in eastern North America have plummeted due to the fungus which is rapidly spreading westward. Over the past two years, Parks Canada researchers have established bat monitoring programs in our in Coastal BC national parks and historic sites as part of the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat). We will share some of the findings from this research, along with some things you can do to help bats.

Aimee Pelletier is a Species at Risk Engagement Officer with Parks Canada and has worked for Parks Canada for 9 years, focusing on Garry Oak ecosystem restoration and recovery of species at risk (mainly plants) in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve and at Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites. For the past two years, Aimee has focused on public outreach that helps Canadians learn about and connect with rare ecosystems and species in Coastal BC, including endangered bats such as the Little Brown Myotis! As Parks Canada's very own "Bat Woman" Aimee loves dressing up as a bat and leading evening bat walks where she uses a special microphone to listen for the echolocation calls of bats in real time!

Kyle Nelson is a member of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve's Ecological Integrity team. He helped establish the park reserve's bat monitoring program in 2017 and has led the project ever since. He has worked for Parks Canada for four years, starting in the Canadian Rockies before joining the Gulf Islands team in 2017. In addition to his work with Parks Canada, he is pursuing a Master's degree at the University of Victoria looking at the migration activity of bats in the southern Gulf Islands. 


*Members have free admission to full lecture series — eight annually! Become a MEMBER today.