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Going Batty in Peachland

Going Batty in Peachland
What was first thought to be a liability has turned into a biological treasure in Peachland, where one of the largest known maternity colonies of Yuma bats in B.C. has been welcomed—instead of being destroyed. Located in the attic of a 108-year-old building which was originally the community’s primary school, the bat roost, where as many as 2,000 bats give birth to their pups and raise those young each spring, is now home also to the community’s Chamber of Commerce, tourism centre and the Boys and Girls Club. Those humans share the main floor of the lakefront building, which has undergone extensive renovations, while the maternity colony of bats roost upstairs during the day, swooping one-by-one through the dormers each evening to forage for insects. Biologist Tanya Luszcz says it’s estimated that this number of bats can consume half to one-and-a-half tonnes of insects in a summer, including many species that are human and agriculture pests. They contribute immensely to the community’s insect control efforts, but are often taken for granted. The tiny mammals have likely made the attic their maternity roost for decades, but the size of the colony came to light when the community began discussing whether to tear...
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