Restore or create grassland
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Grassland provides an important foraging habitat for many bat species, particularly unimproved or semi-unimproved species-rich grassland that has not been intensively grazed, drained or treated with artificial fertilisers or herbicides. Management of grassland may involve a combination of interventions that involve specific mowing or grazing regimes and reduced inputs.
A study that involves the restoration of grassland alongside other habitats at ex-quarry sites is described in ‘Threat: Energy production and mining – Mining – Restore bat foraging habitat at ex-quarry sites’.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A replicated, paired sites study in 2008 on 16 pairs of farms in Scotland, UK (Fuentes-Montemayor et al. 2011) found that grassland created on agri-environment scheme farms had similar activity of Pipistrellus species as improved pasture or crop fields on conventional farms. The activity of common pipistrelles Pipistrellus pipistrellus and soprano pipistrelles Pipistrellus pygmaeus was similar over species-rich grassland on agri-environment farms and improved pasture or crop fields on conventional farms (data reported as statistical model results). On agri-environment scheme farms, pasture or crop fields had been converted to grassland by sowing with a low productivity grass and herb mix and restricting fertiliser, pesticides, mowing and grazing. Each of 16 species-rich grasslands on agri-environment scheme farms were paired with 16 pastures or crop fields on conventional farms with similar farming activities and surrounding habitats. Each of 16 pairs of farms was sampled once on the same night in June–September 2008. At each of 32 sites, bat activity was recorded continuously from 45 minutes after sunset using bat detectors along transects 2.5–3.7 km in length.Study and other actions tested