Factors affecting bat house occupancy in Colorado


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide bat boxes for roosting bats

Action Link
Bat Conservation
  1. Provide bat boxes for roosting bats

    A replicated study in 1997 of 95 bat boxes in farmland, campgrounds and preserved areas in Colorado, USA (White 2004) found bats occupying 11 of 95 bat boxes (12% occupancy rate) at multiple sites, and occupancy was higher in areas where bats roosted prior to installing bat boxes. Big brown bats Eptesicus fuscus occupied 6 boxes, Myotis spp. two boxes and little brown bats Myotis lucifugus one box. Droppings of unknown bat species were found below two boxes. All bat boxes were occupied by one or two individuals, except one colony of 20 big brown bats. In areas where bats roosted prior to bat box installation, the occupancy rate increased to 64%. Bat box occupancy also increased when bat boxes had large landing areas, were mounted on buildings, and in areas of low canopy cover and human disturbance. No bat boxes mounted on trees were occupied. Ninety-five bat boxes were installed in preserved areas (47), remote campgrounds (8), rural farmland (39) and irrigated farmland (1), and placed on trees (40), buildings (42) and poles (13). Details of the locations of occupied bat boxes were not reported. Bat boxes were checked for occupancy and guano on the ground below at 15 or 30-day intervals in May–September 1997.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 19

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust