Action Synopsis: Bat Conservation About Actions

Protect brownfield or ex-industrial sites

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Source countries

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of protecting brownfield or ex-industrial sites on bat populations. The study was in the USA.


  • Richness/diversity (1 study): One study in the USA found that five bat species were recorded within a protected urban wildlife refuge on an abandoned manufacturing site.



About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A study in 1997–1998 in an urban wildlife refuge on the grounds of a former weapons manufacturing facility near Denver, USA (Everette et al 2001) found that five bat species were recorded at the site. Three tree-roosting species and two species known to roost in buildings were captured or recorded, with big brown bats Eptesicus fuscus making up 86% of the captures. In total, 176 bats were captured and 955 bat passes were recorded. Big brown bats commuted further from roosts in buildings within surrounding urban areas to the refuge (9–19 km) than typically reported for the species elsewhere (1–2 km). The manufacturing facility was active until 1985 and was designated as a wildlife refuge in 1992. The refuge covered 6,900 ha of grassland, woodland and wetlands within an urban area. At 18 locations within the refuge, bats were captured with mist nets on a total of 53 nights between May and August in 1997 and 1998. Twelve big brown bats were captured and radio-tagged in 1998. At each of eight locations within the refuge, bat detectors recorded bat activity for 90 minutes on 3–4 nights in June–August 1997.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Berthinussen, A., Richardson O.C. and Altringham J.D. (2019) Bat Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.


Where has this evidence come from?

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Bat Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Bat Conservation
What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation assesses the research looking at whether interventions are beneficial or not. It is based on summarised evidence in synopses, on topics such as amphibians, bats, biodiversity in European farmland, and control of freshwater invasive species. More are available and in progress.

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