SEASONAL UPDATE: The LIVE FEED of the Long-legged and Little Brown bats at the Palisades Stewardship Education Centre is on line.
The live feed goes back online May 2024, coinciding with the expected return of the bats to this roost.
This roost is shared by two species. It is not unusual for this to happen. The species look very similar so you will not be able to see the difference just by looking.
We sampled the DNA of their guano to find out which species are roosting here. Fun fact: the analysis also found DNA from the Cervidae or Elk family (like deer and elk). Since there are no deer in the attic it might seem like a mistake. But, mosquitoes feed on deer and elk, and bats feed on mosquitoes. So, the bat bellies are full of mosquitos that have snacked on a bit of blood. The elk DNA shows up in bat poop.
A roost is where bats sleep, rest, and shelter themselves. The roost at the Palisades can get rather busy from mid-May through June as bats return for the summer. Near the end of June, watch closely and you might see bat pups. A baby bat is small, about 2 grams, about 1/3 the size of its mother, and are often hidden under her belly. Watch for tiny feet sticking out near the mom’s legs. Sometimes, pups will also hang in the roost by themselves.
For scale, a loonie coin is glued to the wood beam on the left side of the screen.
The roost at the Palisades is in a building not used by the general public. Don’t worry, the bats are not disturbed by the camera as it uses infrared LEDs for light. The attic is dark to you and me, and to the bats.
If you want to see a clip of bats from here:
Parks Canada staff members, or batmen and batwomen, are super heroes in the fight to save bats! Across North America, bat populations are declining because of threats like White Nose Syndrome. This fungus can quickly spread through an entire colony of hibernating bats. Get inspired to save bats with these tales from Parks Canada’s, follow this link to find out more!
For more on bats and other species at risk in Jasper National Park go to: