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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The use of white-, grey- and black-coloured bat boxes by soprano pipistrelle Pipistrellus pygmaeus in Alentejo and Algarve, Portugal

Published source details

Lourenço S.I. & Palmeirim J.M. (2004) Influence of temperature in roost selection by Pipistrellus pygmaeus (Chiroptera): relevance for the design of bat boxes. Biological Conservation, 119, 237-243


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Provide bat boxes for roosting bats Bat Conservation

A replicated study in 2001 of three urban sites in Alentejo and Algarve, Portugal (Lourenço & Palmeirim 2004) found that soprano pipistrelles Pipistrellus pygmaeus used six of nine bat boxes. More bats were seen emerging from black bat boxes (maximum of 38) than grey boxes (maximum of six), although this difference was not statistically tested. No bats were seen to emerge from white bat boxes. The internal temperatures of different coloured bat boxes varied significantly (average maximum temperatures: black 37°C, grey 34°C and white 28°C). Maximum daily temperatures inside black bat boxes did not differ to those in roosts in the attics of nearby buildings. Three bat boxes (painted black, grey or white, all Bat Conservation International models) were placed facing south side by side at each of three sites 20 m from maternity roosts. Bat box temperatures were monitored using sensors and data loggers. Bat boxes were checked and emerging bats counted weekly in May–June 2001.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)