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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Managing competition between birds and bats for roost boxes in small woodlands, north-east England

Published source details

Meddings A., Taylor S., Batty L., Knowles M. & Latham D. (2011) Managing competition between birds and bats for roost boxes in small woodlands, north-east England. Conservation Evidence, 8, 74-80


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Provide bat boxes for roosting bats Bat Conservation

A replicated study in 2005–2009 in seven sites of mixed woodland in northeast England, UK (Meddings et al 2011) found that the overall bat occupancy of 90 bat boxes varied from 9% in 2006 to 18% in 2007. Occupancy rates in subsequent years were similar (12% in 2008 and 17% in 2009). The highest occupancy rate at one site was 27% (seven of 26 boxes). Four bat species occupied bat boxes: Pipistrellus spp., brown long-eared bat Plecotus auritus, Natterer’s bat Myotis nattereri and whiskered/Brandt’s bat Myotis mystacinus/Myotis brandtii. In 2006, birds (Parus spp.) occupied 37% of bat boxes. The installation of bird boxes (2–15 boxes/site) in February 2008 reduced bird occupancy of bat boxes to 17%. Woodland sites were small (<3 ha) linear blocks with trees <40 years old. In 2005–2006, bat boxes (Schwegler design 2FN, 16 cm diameter x 36 cm high) were installed in sets of three on trees, covering different aspects at least 4 m above the ground. Boxes were checked for bats in November 2006 and 2007, September 2008 and October 2009.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)