The City of Delta has been officially designated as a bat-friendly community.
The certification recognizes Delta’s commitment to protecting and enhancing bat habitat as well as promoting learning and awareness about the value of local bat colonies in our natural environment, according a press release.
The actions to protect and promote bats in Delta also supports the city’s Birds and Biodiversity Conservation Strategy by ensuring the necessary conditions exist for a thriving and diverse environment.
Delta is the second Metro Vancouver community to be certified as bat friendly by Community Bat Programs of BC, following Richmond in 2020. Only two other B.C. municipalities have been certified to date: Dawson Creek in 2017 and Peachland in 2019.
“I am proud of the city’s commitment to enhancing local biodiversity. Our official certification as a bat-friendly community reflects Delta’s efforts to protect local bat habitats, which play a critical role in regional and international ecosystems. This designation is another achievement in our continued work to advance Delta’s climate change goals,” Delta Mayor George Harvie said in a press release.
According to the release, Delta provides important habitat for many species of bats. The attic of the Burr House —also known as Burrvilla — in Deas Island Regional Park provides habitat for over 2,400 pregnant females, both little brown myotis and yuma bats, and is one of the largest known maternity bat colonies of its kind in B.C.
Additional bat habitats — roosts and foraging sites — are located along the banks of the Fraser River, including on Westham Island, in Burns Bog, over farmland and in green spaces.
In 2019, city staff worked with the BC Bats regional co-ordinator to facilitate the installation of several bat houses throughout Delta by local stewardship groups and to monitor previously installed bat houses. The release states staff will continue these efforts by installing additional bat houses in suitable locations throughout the city.