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: Restore or create wetlands Bat Conservation

Key messages

Read our guidance on Key messages before continuing

  • One study evaluated the effects of restoring wetlands on bat populations. The study was in the USA.




Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 2000–2001 of six restored and six undisturbed wetlands in South Carolina, USA (Menzel et al. 2005) found that restoring wetlands increased overall bat activity, and restored wetlands had similar bat activity to undisturbed wetlands. Overall bat activity was higher over wetlands after restoration (average 7 bat passes/30 minutes) than before (2 bat passes/30 minutes). Before restoration, overall bat activity was lower at drained wetlands (average 2 bat passes/30 minutes) than undisturbed wetlands (17 bat passes/30 minutes). However, after restoration there was no significant difference (restored: 15 bat passes/30 minutes; undisturbed: 9 bat passes/30 minutes). Seven bat species were recorded in total (see original paper for data for individual species). Wetlands were Carolina bays (0.5–1.5 ha) that were either undisturbed (three sites) or had been drained >50 years previously and restored in 2000 (drainage and forest removed; three sites). At each of 12 sites, bat activity was recorded during a random 30 minute time interval between dusk and midnight with 1–2 bat detectors before restoration (in 2000) and after (in 2001).

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.