Engage farmers and landowners to manage land for bats
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Only 14.7% of the world’s land surface is currently protected (UNEP-WCMC & IUCN 2016). Therefore, it is vital to engage effectively with landowners, such as farmers, so that they manage their land in ways that help to maintain bat populations. This may be done by providing advice and support to farmers on how to manage their land specifically for bats.
For an intervention that uses financial incentives to encourage environmentally friendly farming practices that may benefit bats, see ‘Pay farmers to cover the costs of conservation measures (e.g. agri-environment schemes)’. For an intervention that involves providing education, see ‘Educate farmers, land managers and local communities about the benefits of bats to improve management of bat habitats’.
UNEP-WCMC and IUCN (2016) Protected Planet Report 2016. UNEP-WCMC and IUCN: Cambridge UK and Gland, Switzerland.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A study in 1995–2003 of the greater horseshoe bat project in England, UK (Longley 2003) found that the landowner engagement project resulted in 77 bat-related management agreements covering approximately 6,536 ha of land in Devon, Cornwall, and Somerset. This included 80 km of new/restored hedgerow and 400 ha of grassland within key areas surrounding greater horseshoe bat Rhinolophus ferrumequinum maternity roosts. The overall population of greater horseshoe bats at four maternity roosts in Devon was found to increase by 58% in 1995–2003, although the authors note that it is difficult to directly attribute this increase to the project. Advice was provided to 163 landowners and five organisations during farm visits, training seminars and farm walks. Support was also provided with grant applications. The project was widely publicised in the press (24 articles) and TV/radio (five programmes).Study and other actions tested