The Qualicum Bat House is a roosting place for a large maternal colony of Townsend’s Big Eared Bat (Corynorhinus (Plecotus) townsendii). This particular species of bat is Blue-listed in British Columbia, according to the Conservation Data Center. This is one of only two known colonies on Vancouver Island. For this reason, the long-term protection of the house is important as it ensures the long-term protection of habitat essential to the survival of the species.
Because little is known about the habits of this species of bat in British Columbia, the bat house provides an extraordinary opportunity to study these bats without disturbance. In the near future, research equipment and recorders may be installed in the house, so long as it would not interfere with the bats, to help gain a better understanding of this threatened species.
Access to the Site
The Land Conservancy is keeping the well-being of the bats as the highest priority in the management of the house, therefore the location of the site is kept confidential. For researchers and others requiring access for specific purposes, please contact TLC’s Vancouver Island Regional Office to arrange supervised access.
The house and property is under protection for its value as a roost for a vulnerable and threatened bat species. The house has not been protected for any historical significance. If, in the future, historical significance of the house is determined, it will be TLC’s role to determine a compatible management plan which considers both the value to the bats and the historical value of the house.
The condition of the house will be maintained in order to sustain the attic of the house since that is the area used by the bats. The condition of the attic will be re-evaluated every fall to determine any work that needs to be done. Work to be completed will be carried out in the fall after the bats have left the maternal colony to hibernate for the winter.
Statement of Significance
The Land Conservancy is committed to the protection of vulnerable and endangered species and ecosystems in British Columbia. The protection of vulnerable species, such as the Townsend’s Big Eared Bat, is growing more and more important as more of their habitat is lost due to development and growth pressures.
The Qualicum Bat House currently represents one of two known nursing colonies for the Townsend’s Big Eared Bat on all of Vancouver Island. By protecting the Qualicum Bat House and maintaining the features of the house that are important for the Townsend’s Big Eared Bat, TLC is guaranteeing the preservation of the habitat that this vulnerable species depends on for survival.
Further, protection of this colony’s habitat allows us the unique opportunity to study these animals. Research conducted at this location will provide important information regarding the specific habitat preferences of the Townsend’s Big Eared Bat and allow for further protection of like habitats or creation of suitable habitat.
A residence may be established on the opposite side of the property from the bat house. Permanent residents will decrease the risk of vandalism or squatters on the property and provide a small source of rental income to help to pay the property’s mortgage and upkeep.
TLC currently holds a mortgage for $165,000 on the Qualicum Bat House.