Peachland bats, previously considered a nuisance, have now become a local phenomenon. It is now well known that the nocturnal mammals have inhabited the 111-year-old Peachland Primary School for decades, however, their numbers have only recently been revealed.
Peachland Primary served as a school until 2002 when it was boarded up, and all students were moved to the bigger Peachland Elementary. The building sat empty for nearly a decade and fell into a state of near-disrepair. However, with the confirmation of the bat colony in the school’s attic, the building and the bats were saved. The Primary School then underwent a complete restoration, and now serves as the Peachland Visitor Centre and Art Gallery.
Wildlife biologist, Aaron Reid from the Ministry of Environment, estimates the colony to be upwards of 2000 bats. Reid identified Peachland’s roost as a maternity colony, which means it is comprised mostly of females and their pups.
Our bats can eat over half their body weight in insects in one night, so that explains why Peachland is virtually mosquito-free!