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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Restrict timing of timber treatment application Bat Conservation

Key messages

Read our guidance on Key messages before continuing

  • One study evaluated the effects of restricting the timing of timber treatment application on bat populations. The study was in the UK.



  • Survival (1 study): One replicated, controlled laboratory study in the UK found that treating timber with lindane and pentachlorophenol 14 months prior to exposure by bats increased survival but did not prevent death.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated, controlled study in 1982–1984 in a laboratory in northeast Scotland, UK (Racey & Swift 1986) found that treating cages with a commercial remedial timber treatment 14 months prior to exposure by common pipistrelle bats Pipistrellus pipistrellus resulted in bats surviving for longer than when cages were treated six weeks before exposure, but all bats still died. Bats survived longer in cages that had been treated 14 months previously (average 15 days) than cages treated six weeks previously (average four days), but all bats still died within 23 days of exposure. Female common pipistrelle bats were caught at nursery roosts and 10–14 bats were used in each of two trials. Experimental and control cages (40 x 20 x 20 cm) were made from steel or zinc and lined with plywood. Experimental cages were treated with timber treatment (1% w/v lindane and 5% w/v pentachlorophenol in an organic solvent) either 14 months or six weeks before the experiments. Control cages were left untreated. All cages were kept in unheated rooms with constant conditions, and bats were inspected daily for 113–120 days during summer in 1982–1984.

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.