Shackan Indian Band

Positive Community, Self Sufficient, Healthy Lifestyle

The NWSFA Species at Risk Bat project Update

The NWSFA has a new project to document the diversity of bats in the Nicola Valley area and to gain knowledge on their habitat use (natural and man-made). The overall project objective is to enhance the protection of our local bat population through obtained information and raising awareness.

Project Activity Updates

Local Information: An online survey was developed and a total of 14 interviews were conducted with NTA membership to gather traditional knowledge related to bats. This information is now available as a  summary document. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this document, please contact the NWSFA biologist.

Habitat Maps: Habitat maps were created for Upper Nicola Indian Band, Coldwater Indian Band, Nooaitch Indian Band and Shackan Indian Band reserve lands to help identify potential sites for netting. Netting will allow for capture and bat identification. This will occur from August 8th - 16th, around the new moon. Netting efforts will likely focus on areas that have the following three elements: rock outcroppings or tree snags (roosting sites), forest stands and water features (for drinking). Note - a suitable netting site will still have standing water nearby in August. If you have any information to share regrading potential netting sites please contact the NWSFA biologist.

Acoustics: Based on the habitat maps and ground-truthing exercises, a few locations have been selected for the deployment of detectors. These detectors will remain in the field for a couple of weeks recording bat echolocation calls. The results of this work will confirm if certain areas are suitable for netting in August based on bat presence. Two detectors were deployed on June 27th, one north of Douglas Lake and one along Nicola River down near Shackan, and two additional sites have been identified for later deployments, one up behind Quilchena and the other near Do on the Nooaitch reserve. If you have an  questions or concerns about  the acoustic work or detector locations please contact NWSFA biologist.

Community Outreach: When possible community input has helped guide project activities. Feedback has been received through General Band Meetings and Chief and Council Meetings. UNB's Glimpse Lake Aboriginal Day event provided a great opportunity for some community outreach and was attended by NWSFA's biologist. Awareness materials have been shared with band administration for further distribution. An activity booklet with coloring sheets and a crossword was also developed. If you would like to obtain awareness materials please contact the NWSFA biologist or talk to your band office administration. The NWSFA would be honored to attend any community events/gatherings to talk about the bat project so please contact the NWSFA biologist if there is an interest in this.

Project Activity Next Steps

Mapping of the Community Bats: Information on bat colonies in buildings will be collected through dialogue with community members. Bats and humans can coexist quite well (people with bats benefit from having less mosquitoes in their yard) but there may be instances when bats are unwanted. We have awareness materials on how to safely relocate bats, and what time of year this should be done, but it is recommended that you seek assistance by trained professionals. Through this project we would like to help with the safe relocation of problematic colonies. The first step is knowing where they are.

Netting: A team will be netting in the field from August 8th - 16th on UNB, Shackan, Nooaitch and Coldwater Band reserve lands. A detailed schedule along with netting materials will be shared with the band office administration in early August.

Contact Information: NWSFA Office Address: NTA Office  - 2090 Coutlee Ave - Merritt, BC

Phone Number: 250-378-4235

Contact: NWSFA Biologist (Sara Martin) - smartin@nicolatribal.org