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

Individual study: Well-placed bat houses can attract bats to Central Valley farms

Published source details

Long R.F., Kiser W.M. & Kiser S.B. (2006) Well-placed bat houses can attract bats to Central Valley farms. California Agriculture, 60, 91-94


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 1997–2004 in 66 agricultural areas in California, USA (Long et al. 2006) found that bats of five species used 141 of 186 bat boxes (76% occupancy rate), and the size, height and colour of bat boxes did not affect occupancy. Bat boxes were used by groups (48%) and individual bats (28%). Five bat species were recorded within bat boxes, with the Brazilian free-tailed bat Tadarida brasiliensis and Myotis spp. accounting for the majority of bat box occupancy (67% and 26% respectively). Size, colour and height of the bat boxes did not affect bat occupancy. Bat colonies (average of 64 bats) were more likely to use bat boxes that were shaded or exposed to the morning sun, mounted on buildings and close to a water source. Individual bats were more likely to use bat boxes that were mounted on poles and exposed to the full or afternoon sun. All bat boxes were plywood with one or more chambers and were small (<90 cm roosting space) or large (>90 cm roosting space). Bat boxes were mounted 2–9.5 m high singly, side by side or back to back on barns, sheds, poles, bridges or silos. Boxes were placed in different orientations and painted light, medium and dark colours. Bat boxes were checked annually in 1997–2004.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)