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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Behavioral responses of bats to gates at caves and mines

Published source details

Spanjer G.R. & Fenton M.B. (2005) Behavioral responses of bats to gates at caves and mines. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 33, 1101-1112


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

Install and maintain gates at mine entrances to restrict public access Bat Conservation

A replicated, controlled, before-and-after and site comparison study in 2003 at 28 mine and cave sites between Ontario, Canada and Tennessee, USA (Spanjer 2006) found that at mine and cave entrances with gates, bats circled, retreated more and passed through less often than at ungated entrances.  Bats circled and retreated significantly more and passed through less at entrances with existing mine or cave gates (37% of bats circled and retreated, 50% passed through) or newly installed mock gates (60% circled and retreated, 25% passed through) than at ungated entrances (23% circled and retreated, 68% passed through). Separate results for mines and caves are not provided. Seven mines or caves had existing gates (of various designs), twelve mines or caves were ungated and had mock wooden gates installed (horizontal bars 25 mm diameter with 146 mm spacing). Ungated entrances were surveyed before and after mock gates were installed. At each of 28 sites, observations of behaviour were made during 3–4 x 5 minute periods during 1–2 nights in July–October 2003.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)

Install and maintain cave gates to restrict public access Bat Conservation

A replicated, controlled, before-and-after and site comparison study in 2003 at 28 cave and mine sites between Ontario, Canada and Tennessee, USA (Spanjer & Fenton 2005) found that at cave and mine entrances with gates, bats circled, retreated more and passed through less often than at ungated entrances.  Bats circled and retreated significantly more and passed through less at entrances with existing cave gates (37% of bats circled and retreated, 50% passed through) or newly installed mock gates (60% circled and retreated, 25% passed through) than at ungated entrances (23% circled and retreated, 68% passed through). Separate results for caves and mines are not provided. Seven caves or mines had existing gates (of various designs), twelve caves or mines were ungated and had mock wooden gates installed (horizontal bars 25 mm diameter with 146 mm spacing). Ungated entrances were surveyed before and after mock gates were installed. At each of 28 sites, observations of behaviour were made during 3–4 x 5 minute periods during 1–2 nights in July–October 2003.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)