Susan is investigating the thermal properties of artificial bat houses, and how they may or may not be providing suitable refuge for both Little Brown and Yuma Myotis bats (particularly breeding females and their offspring) during the summer months. Although bat houses are recognized as a major conservation tool, there is concern that they may become overly hot in summer, forcing female bats to relocate or possibly even leading the the loss of offspring. Susan is working under the direct supervision of Dr. Cori Lausen, a well-known bat biologist in Western Canada and an adjunct faculty member at Thompson Rivers University. Susan’s research will inform new Best Management Practices on using bat boxes currently being drafted by Canadian and US agencies and organizations.
Funding for this project comes from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, MITACS, and the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada. Invaluable assistance is also coming from the Kootenay Community Bat Project, Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area, BC Parks and several private landowners