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.
The bats have created a unique educational experience.
They are a protected species and are now considered valuable mammals in the Ecosystem.
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!
Guano (bat poop) is also becoming increasingly popular as 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
Our Maternity colony lives in the attic roost from April to the end of the summer. At that time, the bats begin departing the schoolhouse and it is believed that they fly across Lake Okanagan to hibernate in the rocks of Okanagan Park. Their fragile bodies cannot tolerate extreme changes in temperature so they will hibernate in caves or rock outcroppings where their body temperatures can remain more consistent throughout the winter.
A visit to the Peachland Visitor Centre will show how humans and bats can successfully co-exist!
View the daily lifestyle of these nocturnal mammals via live video cameras installed in the roost. Learn of hibernation patterns, diet and other information with a stop at the Visitor Centre for a bat chat. Or, visit the Visitor Centre at dusk to watch the bats fly out of the roost to forage for the night.
Check out the Bat House Interpretive Trail for a walk through Peachland while also learning about the local bats of Peachland and bat houses. The trail consists of nine stops with information on the bats. In fact, BEEPS offers Bat Chats along the Interpretive Trail if you are looking for a more in depth experience.