Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Modify bat hibernacula environments to increase bat survival Bat Conservation

Key messages

Read our guidance on Key messages before continuing

  • One study evaluated the effects of modifying hibernacula environments to increase bat survival. The study was in the USA.

COMMUNITY RESPONSE (0 STUDIES)

POPULATION RESPONSE (1 STUDY)

  • Survival (1 study): One randomized, replicated, controlled study in the USA found that a greater number of little brown bats infected with the white-nose syndrome fungus survived in hibernation chambers at 4°C than at 10°

USAGE (1 STUDY)

  • Behaviour change (1 study): One randomized, replicated, controlled study in the USA found that little brown bats infected with the white-nose syndrome fungus stayed in hibernation for longer in hibernation chambers at 4°C than at 10°

Supporting evidence from individual studies

1 

A randomized, replicated, controlled study in 2013–2014 in a laboratory in Pennsylvania, USA (Johnson et al 2014) found that bats infected with the white-nose syndrome fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans were more likely to survive and stayed in hibernation for longer when placed in hibernation chambers at 4°C than at 10°C. A greater proportion of bats infected with the white-nose syndrome survived during hibernation at 4°C (43–67% of 14–15 bats) than at 10°C (7–53% of 14–15 bats). Infected bats also stayed in torpor for longer at 4°C (average 9–12 days) than at 10°C (6–7 days). For uninfected control bats, no significant differences were found between the two temperatures for survival (4°C: 80% of 14–15 bats survived; 10°C: 57% of 14–15 bats survived) or hibernation duration (4°C: average 13 days; 10°C: 11 days). In November 2013, 147 hibernating little brown bats Myotis lucifugus were collected from two mines. Bats were randomly placed into five groups for each of the two temperature treatments (4°C and 10°C; total 14–15 bats/group). Four groups were inoculated with different amounts of the white-nose syndrome fungus (500, 5,000, 50,000, or 500,000 spores). One control group was inoculated with a harmless saline solution. All bats were fitted with temperature dataloggers and placed within flight cages with internal chambers set to 4°C or 10°C (and ≤90% relative humidity) for 148 days.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Berthinussen, A., Richardson O.C. and Altringham J.D. (2019) Bat Conservation. Pages 67-140 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.