SEEDS Project Highlight: Exploring Wildlife-Inclusive Environments & Coexistence with Bats on UBC Campus

Written by: Timothy Wong, An Hoang, Hannah Griebling and Georgia Stanley

Pictured: The new free-standing bat box recently installed in front of the UBC Opera House. The dual box design allows for different temperature conditions throughout the different chambers, which bats can move between depending on their preferences. Photo Credit: An Hoang.

Hanging with Bats on Campus

In order to better understand and conserve local bat populations at UBC Vancouver, a group of SEEDS student researchers collaborated with a diverse team of faculty and practitioners on and off campus to support opportunities for bat-friendly infrastructure in the built and natural environment. Students successfully conducted a habitat suitability analysis, installed a bat box near the current roost location, and provided short- and long-term recommendations to promote coexistence between humans and bats on campus.

While balancing stakeholder input, habitat needs, and technical limitations, the students highlighted challenges in the bat box site selection process and habitat creation. Key findings emphasized finding the right balance between conservation and development needs, and pinpointed opportunities to enhance UBC’s wildlife policies to support local at-risk species. Students called for future action and research to integrate bat-friendly design into the Green Building Action Plan and initiating an educational campaign to promote urban wildlife awareness, especially for endangered and underappreciated species like bats.

The installation of the bat box marks the beginning of a long journey to promote coexistence with wildlife on the UBC Campus. SEEDS will continue to work with UBC staff and researchers to explore the implementation of bat friendly infrastructure and design guidelines, so that bats can continue to thrive for many years to come.

We encourage you to review the SEEDS student reports, and other resources below:

Pictured (Left): Updated installation plan for the bat box. (Right): image of the actual bat box (not to scale). Photo Credit: Timothy Wong, Philip Bartha, Ryan Brehon, Mark Wen – ENVR 400.


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