Peachland bats, previously considered a nuisance, have now become a local phenomena. It has been known that the nocturnal mammals inhabited the 103 year old Peachland Primary School for decades, however, their numbers have only recently been revealed.
Peachland Primary was closed in 2002 and the refurbishing of the historic building revealed a massive roost.
Wildlife biologist, Aaron Reid from the Ministry of Environment, estimates the colony to be upwards of 2000 Yuma bats. Reid identified Peachland’s roost as a maternity colony, which means it is comprised mostly of breeding females, under-productive females, which are yearlings, and juveniles.
"Typically, males will roost in smaller bachelor roosts separate from the females but this roost (in the attic) is so big there could be male groups roosting there as well. This could possibly be the largest Yuma bat colony in British Columbia" - Reid
Bats in the attic of the Peachland Primary School have created a unique educational experience. Bats are a protected species and are now considered valuable mammals in the Eco-system. They can eat up to 3/4 of their body weight in insects each night with mosquitoes as their choice of diet.
This explains why Peachland is virtually mosquito free!
Along with the massive colony, an accumulation of more than 40 years of bat guano was also uncovered. Guano is becoming and increasingly popular home and commercial fertilizer due to its high content of nitrates. A mosquito diet creates an extremely high nitrate composition and is one of the most sought after fertilizers.
Stop by at the Peachland Visitor Centre to purchase your
The Peachland Primary School is home to the Peachland Visitor Centre, Chamber of Commerce, Peachland Boys & Girls Club, Peachland Art Gallery and of course our Peachland Bats.
A visit to the Peachland Visitor Centre will show how humans and bats can successfully co-exist. Learn how myths of health risks and other public fears have been put to rest by wildlife biologists.
View the daily lifestyle of these nocturnal mammals via live video cameras installed in the roost. Learn of hibernation patterns, diet and other bat species with a stop at the VC or you may want to bring a blanket and sit outside the Primary School on a starry night to view the bats as they take flight for their nightly forging.