By mid-December, the tree-mounted bat boxes will installed at approximately 4-5m in height along a south or east facing forest edge or on a stand-alone tree. This reduces the amount of shading they receive, and allows them to be more easily discovered than if the boxes are installed inside forest cover.
Placement of the tree mounted boxes on the island will reduce the likelihood of mammalian predation and close proximity to productive foraging sites.
The proposed bat habitat installations are located to provide ideal maternity roosting sites. They offer easy access to forest, water sources and productive foraging grounds. They have relatively open surroundings but are in close proximity for forest edge. Relatively open, meadow habitat common through much of the southern portion of the park, combined with adjacent wetland and waterfront habitat should provide excellent foraging resources to support productive maternity roosts.
While tree-mounted boxes are often considered less favorable for a number of reasons, they provide conditions that may be beneficial under certain scenarios such as extreme summer heat. In addition, they may also be used by male bats and juvenile females that are not rearing young. These are often installed in pairs to provide a wider array of conditions at each location.
Many thanks to Jessica at TRCA for all of her assistance to us on this project, and to Rob and Vesty of DASSP for the pics.
Let's hope that our May bat count will be an improved one, with lots of healthy, juvenile bats!