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Halloween-linked creatures’ spooky reputation hurts protection: conservation group

Stereotypes inhibit understanding of the importance of these creatures
The Nature Conservancy of Canada said that spooky stereotypes surrounding creatures such as bats create misunderstandings about the important mammals. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is pushing back against spooky stereotypes surrounding creatures such as bats, owls, ravens, spiders and other commonly feared animals this Halloween season and beyond.

The organization said that these stereotypes are detrimental because it inhibits the public from a true understanding of why these species are vital to the health of many ecosystems in Greater Victoria.

Megan Quinn, coordinator of conservation biology with the NCC, said the problem is if people are afraid they may not understand why protection is important and even express hostility toward these creatures.

Quinn said that many of the species get a bad rap and have been negatively depicted at a time when their livelihood is a global conservation concern.

The most prominent example is little brown bat populations and owls.

Quinn said that owls, for example, do a lot of very good things for our ecosystems. “They are fantastic at keeping rodent populations in check and are a key part of the forests.”

NCC invites families to learn more about the myths associated with these misunderstood species.

A recording of an educational webinar from NCC can be accessed here.

ALSO READ: BatWeek in Greater Victoria spreads education about tiny flying mammals

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