Cyclists Aim to Ride 50km for bats in Big Bat Bike Ride - dressed as bats!

Big Bat Bike Ride Poster 2017As Halloween approaches, local cyclists keen on our furry night-flying insect controllers are planning the Big Bat Bike Ride for October 29 dressed as bats. The goal is to raise awareness and funds about the plight of our bats and to collect pledges to adopt local bat colonies through the HAT for Bats Campaign.

Paige Erickson-McGee and Alanah Nasadyk are leading the Batty Bike Crew in costume on the 50 kilometre bike ride from Centennial Square to MyChosen Café in Metchosin, departing at 11:00am. Everyone is welcome to join, bat costumes are encouraged but optional. There is a 4 km pup ride from the Square along the Galloping Goose Trail to the Selkirk Trestle for those smaller riders, or join for all or part of the full 50 km ride to Metchosin and back.

“Who isn’t a little intrigued by bats? Our local bat populations are in trouble and they need our help. We can all make a difference to bats, and we hope to raise $1,000.00 for the HAT for Bats Campaign and spread the word about how important our bats are to us. They eat all those mosquitoes eating us! An important natural pest control” says Paige Erickson-McGee, co-leader of the Big Bat Bike Ride.

The funds raised will go towards the HAT for Bats Campaign, with the goal to raise at least $1,000.00 to protect local bat colonies at risk of being removed or destroyed.

Habitat Acquisition Trust is reaching out to the community with this campaign to continue its important work with local bats. You can support the HAT for Bats fundraiser by sponsoring a bat colony for $100.00, which covers the cost of building a bat house that can support up to 200 bats.

Community members can also team up with HAT to fundraise by collecting donations from their friends and neighbours, hosting their own mini-fundraiser event, or create a donation box to be carried during trick-or-treating.

Why do bats need homes? It can be tricky finding a safe place to live nowadays if you’re a bat. Habitat loss and loss of old dead trees due to development and deforestation have reduced bats’ options for finding suitable homes.

Three out of the ten bat species found on Vancouver Island are considered at risk of eventually being lost forever if they remain on their current trajectory. Habitat Acquisition Trust’s (HAT) Bat Stewardship Program helps people on South Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands care for bats by providing bats with the habitat they need. Through the Bat Program HAT has collaborated with community members to install 90 bat boxes to provide safe bat habitat in our region.

Photo 1 Alanah and PaigeWhy are bats taking shelter in human-built structures? The primary reason is a loss of natural roosting habitat in the form of large old hollow trees. Many of these trees are removed during development or cleared in parks as a safety precaution to avoid injury by falling trees.

In the winter, local bats have been reported to hibernate in caves or abandoned mines, at specific locations on Southern Vancouver Island are unknown.

The Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus) was emergency listed as Endangered on the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) in 2014 because of sudden and dramatic declines across the eastern portions of the ranges.

These declines are the direct result of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease that has killed millions of bats in eastern North America during their winter hibernation. It is currently not known to exist in bat colonies west of the Rockies, but detected in Washington State and expected to arrive in BC imminently.

Residents from Southern Vancouver Island are urged to contact Habitat Acquisition Trust at the BC Community Bat Program Hotline: 1-855-9BC-BATS ext 12 if bats are seen hibernating this winter.

“Programs like this have been in place to collect information from the public on bat populations in BC with the intention of aiding in the conservation of bats and their habitats” says Mandy Kellner, Coordinator of the BC Community Bat Program. “Reports from citizen scientists about bat hibernacula are extremely important for bat conservation in the province.”

Map of the ride route is available on the Facebook page. For more information or to support the Big Bat Bike Ride visit or call HAT directly: 250-995-2428 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For info about bat box building or bats in houses, visit

Find the event on Facebook: Big Bat Bike Ride
Sponsor the riders on their own page: Big Bat Bike Ride Fundraiser


Read more: Cyclists Aim to Ride 50km for bats in Big Bat Bike Ride - dressed as bats!

Elizabeth Easton Board Biography

Elizabeth EastonElizabeth Easton;


Elizabeth holds a BA in Physical Geography from the University of Victoria with a focus on resource management and a strong interest in environmental systems and processes. She has spent over 25 years with the "dirt" ministries of the BC government (Forests, Parks and Environment) in program and administration and management. In her spare time she is a keen organizer of the annual Botany BC conference, has spent time with salmon enhancement programs on Vancouver Island and worked on early mapping and land use planning for Bowker Creek. Having grown up in the Victoria area she is enthusiastic to work with HAT and partners to stay involved in the management and conservation of the precious lands and habitats of southern Vancouver Island and the southern gulf islands.


Conservation Connection Benefit Banquet Silent Auction Items

earth light studio avalanche liliesTicket sales are extended while space remains for the Thurs, Oct 12th Conservation Connection Forum & Benefit Banquet

Get your tickets before they sell out! Here.

More event info here.

There will be a silent auction and raffle with all funds raised going to Habitat Acquisition Trust's nature conservation programs. Raffle tickets are $2 each, so bring your cash to take part in the fun.

Silent auction items:

Raffle prizes:

Thank you to all of our sponsors that donated in support of the Conservation Connection Forum & Benefit Banquet!


Read more: Conservation Connection Benefit Banquet Silent Auction Items

Conservation Connection Forum & Benefit Banquet Speakers Teaser

Conservation Connection Plain LogoThe Conservation Connection Forum and Benefit Banquet will be held Thurs, Oct 12th at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific Couvelier Pavillion (505 Quayle Rd). 

Tickets on sale at while space remains, until Oct 1st. 

Follow our Facebook Page for silent auction and event teasers leading up to the day of the conference!

Conservation Connection Forum Topics

hcpCollaborative, large-scale Conservation
First session: “why large scale conservation?” Highlighting experts representing different taxonomic groups (birds, pollinators, carnivores, forests/fungi)

Second session: “collaborative approaches to conservation” effective partnerships that are working together on collaborative conservation initiatives (stewardship, education, and restoration)

Third Session: “conservation planning tools”. Discussions on how to identify priorities and focus efforts in large scale conservation. (mapping tools, data sharing, identifying priorities and effective collaboration)
Fourth Session: Facilitated group discussion. Sharing of goals, priorities and conservation planning.

the weeding unearthed live hatchlings possibly unable to dig out of nest in dry spring soilNature Walk and Talk

Western Painted Turtle and Bat Conservation. Featuring the habitat steward done for these species on the Horticulcutre Centre of the Pacific's property. Led by HAT Biologist Christian Engelstoft.


Dr. Lora Morandin: bees and pollinator conservation and citizen science
Dr. Kem Luther: the importance of mosses, fungi, lichens (The Boundary Layer)
Nitya Harris:
collaborative stewardship and the Coexisting with Carnivores Alliance
Jacques Sirois: outreach and education on Marine Bird Sanctuaries and modern-day Naturehoods
Pippi Lawn: community restoration and Coastal Sands Ecosystems in the Gulf Islands
Dr. Stephanie Hazlitt: approaches to Open Science, Data sharing and conservation planning tools
Jens Wieting: old growth forest protection, First Nations support and prosperous communities

Benefit Banquet Keynote Speaker

Dr. Rick Kool:
The Blue Boundary Report: developing a collaborative plan for the sustainability of Vancouver Island


Children's Wildlife 5-Book Series to help conserve Canadian animals

sherryTeacher, artist, illustrator, and local author, Sherry Ewacha-Poole is lending her support to Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) with proceeds from a new book series raising funds for nature.

Written by Sherry Ewacha-Poole and published by Wildlife Matters Publishing, the A-Z Wildlife Series highlights 130 animals from all over Canada with each of the 5 books focusing on a different region, including our own West Coast.

Each book features 26 well-loved creatures. Some of the animals showcased in The West Coast are the Orca whale, the Spirit Bear, and the Vancouver Island Marmot, with informational fun facts about their natural history alongside colourful illustrations done by hand. These books bring a menagerie of educational wonder to any family’s bookshelf. They also give children a chance to take part in helping these animals remain living in our forests, mountains, rivers, and seas, as $5.00 from the purchase goes directly to habitat protection, enhancement, and restoration programs with HAT.

“When we learn about and admire the animals around us, it’s only natural to want to see them protected and remain a part of our shared world. With this partnership, children get a chance to not only grow their understanding of wildlife, but also feel empowered that they are a part bookf anof keeping them safe. These are the kind of special books that make a wonderful and meaningful gift full of inspiration.” - Alanah Nasadyk Community and Development Coordinator, HAT.

Sherry has chosen to donate $5.00 from the sale of each book to the Habitat Acquisition Trust to fund the protection of habitat for wildlife featured in her illustrations. Books can be purchased at 825 Broughton St., Victoria. Those purchasing books are advised to call ahead at 250-995-2428 to ensure copies are on hand. The series can also be purchased online at: , and purchasers are reminded to mention Habitat Acquisition Trust in a note before check-out to ensure a portion of proceeds goes to local wildlife conservation.

“Compassion and concern for our wildlife starts with knowledge and awareness, and if these books can raise that awareness, then I have accomplished what I set out to do,” says Sherry.

Sherry has already donated two sets of the books directly to HAT. These books will be available at the Conservation Connection Benefit Banquet through a silent auction on Oct 12th. Tickets for this nature fundraiser event are on sale at until Oct 1st.


Read more: Children's Wildlife 5-Book Series to help conserve Canadian animals

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