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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Use UV filters on lights Bat Conservation

Key messages

Read our guidance on Key messages before continuing

  • One study evaluated the effects of using ultraviolet filters on lights on bat populations. The study was in the UK.



  • Abundance (1 study): One randomized, replicated, controlled study in the UK found that hedges lit with ultraviolet filtered lights had higher soprano pipistrelle, but not common pipistrelle activity (relative abundance) than hedges lit with unfiltered light.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


A randomized, replicated, controlled study in 2014 at five hedges in Devon, UK (Mathews et al. 2015) found that hedges lit with ultraviolet (UV) filtered lights had higher activity for one of two bat species than at hedges lit with unfiltered lights or unlit hedges. Soprano pipistrelle Pipistrellus pygmaeus activity was higher at hedges lit with UV filtered lights (average 5 bat passes/night) than at hedges lit with unfiltered lights (3 bat passes/night) or at unlit hedges (4 bat passes/night). Common pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus activity did not differ significantly between any of the light treatments (data not reported). At each of five hedges, two lights (8W LED flood lamps with additional UV bulbs) were set up 15 m apart and 5 m high. Filtered lights were covered with UV film filters to reduce UV emissions by 40%. Three treatments (UV filtered lights, unfiltered lights, unlit/control) were carried out at each pair of lights in a random order for three nights each between July and October 2014. Two additional unlit locations were also surveyed at each site. During each night, bat activity was recorded using bat detectors placed at the treatment site and at the unlit locations for 3 h from sunset.

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.