Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Managing competition between birds and bats for roost boxes in small woodlands, north-east England

Published source details

Meddings A., Taylor S., Batty L., Knowles M. & Latham D. (2011) Managing competition between birds and bats for roost boxes in small woodlands, north-east England. Conservation Evidence, 8, 74-80


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

Provide artificial roost structures for bats Bat Conservation

A replicated study in 2005–2009 in seven sites of mixed woodland in northeast England, UK (Meddings et al 2011) found that the overall bat occupancy of bat boxes (90 in total) varied between 9% in 2006 to 18% in 2007 (12% in 2008 and 17% in 2009). The highest proportion of bat boxes occupied at one site was 27% (seven of 26 boxes). Four bat species occupied the bat boxes: Pipistrellus spp., brown long-eared bat Plecotus auritus, Natterer’s bat Myotis nattereri and whiskered bat Myotis mystacinus/Brandt’s bat Myotis brandti. In 2006, birds occupied 37% of bat boxes across the sites (most frequently blue tit Cyanistes (Parus) caeruleus and great tit Parus major). The installation of bird boxes (2–15 boxes/site) in February 2008 reduced bird occupancy of bat boxes to 17% across the sites. Woodland sites were small (< 3 ha) linear blocks with trees less than 40 years old. In 2005–2006, bat boxes (Schwegler 2FN, 16 cm diameter x 36 cm high) were installed in sets of three per tree, covering different aspects at least 4 m above the ground. Boxes were checked for bats in November 2006 and 2007, September 2008 and October 2009.