West Kelowna  

Bat-friendly street lighting proposed for Peachland

More bat-friendly lighting?

The District of Peachland should reconfigure its street lighting to accommodate the flying corridors of a local colony of bats, council will hear next week.

A report from Bat Education Ecological Protection Society suggests a proof-of-concept project be launched in the area around the Peachland Historical School, where 1,500 Yuma myotis and little brown bats roost.

Another report from Shaun O'Dea of Langara College makes a number of suggestions to make the lighting more bat friendly, such as installing LED lights with a different hue that would make it easier for bats to navigate, or lowering street lights to create corridors for the bats to pass through on their way to feeding grounds. 

“The lights must fulfill the role of providing urban light, the lights should allow for the congregation of food insects of bats and be non damaging to the eyesight of bats,” said the report from the Bat Education Society.

“The highly sensitive eyes of bats may be affected by large sources of light and thus may create regions avoided by bats, resulting in possible habitat loss.”

In the direct flight path of bats exiting the school, are two lights posts at Swim Bay and three Bollard lights along the walkway of the historic schoolhouse. The report suggests those lights be reconfigured to be more bat friendly.

The Peachland Historic School was built in 1908 and served the community up until 2003. After being vacated, the site fell into disrepair, but the discovery of the bat colony in 2009 was one of the catalysts for the schoolhouse restoration.

Council will discuss the proposal on Tuesday.

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