Bat hotels open for business in Kluane

Kluane National Park is now offering new overnight accommodations - specifically for bats. The nocturnal creatures have been spending their springs roosting.

Kluane National Park is now offering new overnight accommodations – specifically for bats.

The nocturnal creatures have been spending their springs roosting in the attic of the Parks Canada administration building. To avoid displacing the bats with some planned renovations, conservation officers decided to build new homes – rectangular boxes, about two feet wide and three feet long.

“We recognize that they play an important role in our ecosystem as a major control insect,” said Craig McKinnon, a resource conservation manager at Kluane National Park.

Bats eat a lot of mosquitoes and other bugs. According to figures from Yukon Environment, a colony of 100 Little Brown bats can eat about 20 kilograms of insects in four months.

Bats often return to familiar places, said McKinnon. While adopting a new home, such as the newly-installed bats hotels, can require a couple of years, the tiny flying mammals have already taken up one of the hotels.

“We’ve already found bats droppings under one of the hotels, that’s indicating there is a number of them using it,” said McKinnon.

The bat hotels are painted black and placed in the direct sun, “because bats need warmth,” said McKinnon.

Openings on the box allow access to four chambers inside. Each has grooves on the ceiling to allow the bats to roost, hanging upside-down by their claws.

While the white-nose fungus has taken out a significant part of eastern Canada’s bat population, the Yukon bat population is still doing well.

In the Yukon, the biggest threat the bat population faces is habitat loss, said Carrie McClelland, a wildlife viewing biologist at the Environment Department.

“They require wetland and they eat mosquitoes, they need nice places where they can live and roost,” she said.

Like all wild animals, bats can carry some disease, she said, recommending that people use gloves or shovel if they find an injured bat.

“They have lots of teeth and they will use them for sure,” she said.

People interested in having bats around their house – given their hunger for mosquitoes and other summer pests – can find bat hotels plans on the Yukon Environment website. They can also attend the “Going Batty” event on August 7 organized by the Environment Department, and go for a late-night walk to Chadburn Lake bat house to see bats flying.

Contact Pierre Chauvin at

pierre.chauvin@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

A cyclist rides along the Millenium Trail in downtown Whitehorse on a frigid Feb. 9. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of an e-bike bylaw that would designate how e-bike riders can use city trails. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
First two readings passed on Whitehorse e-bike bylaw

Delegate calls on city to consider age restrictions and further regulations

Whitehorse City Hall at its Steele Street entrance. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Change of plans approved for city hall

Project would see 1966 city hall demolished

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

NDP candidate Annie Blake, left, and Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost. (Submitted photos)
Official recount confirms tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin riding

Both candidates Pauline Frost and Annie Blake are still standing with 78 votes each

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

A bulldozer levels piles of garbage at the Whitehorse landfill in January 2012. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Rural dump closures and tipping fees raise concern from small communities

The government has said the measures are a cost-cutting necessity

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Two new cases of COVID-19 variant identified in territory

“If variants were to get out of control in the Yukon, the impact could be serious.”

Most Read