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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Use of artificial roost structures by bats at the Indianapolis international airport

Published source details

Whitaker J.J., Sparks D. & Brack V.J. (2006) Use of artificial roost structures by bats at the Indianapolis international airport. Environmental Management, 38, 28-36


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 1992–1999 in several small woodlots in a suburban area in Indiana, USA (Whitaker et al. 2006) found that four of nine artificial roost designs were used by a total of 709 bats over seven years. The designs used were single box (428 bats), triple box (210 bats), shake garland (96 bats) and Missouri-style bat boxes (65 bats). Five bat species used the artificial roosts both individually and in groups, with northern myotis bats Myotis septentrionalis using them most frequently (690 of the total 709 bats). From 1992 to 1994, 3,204 artificial roosts of nine designs were installed. Single boxes (715) were “bird house” style attached to deciduous trees. Triple boxes (259) were three single boxes surrounding deciduous trees. Single shakes (697) consisted of a pair of overlapping cedar shingles nailed to a tree. Shake garlands (842) had 10–20 shakes encircling deciduous tree trunks. Missouri style boxes (56) were 0.9 x 1.8 m. Tarpaper boxes (30) were wooden (0.9 x 0.9 m) and lined with tarpaper. Plastic/tarpaper skirts (176) had a length of tarpaper/plastic folded over and wrapped around a tree. Exfoliations (338) were loosened bark with the lower end wedged. Moved trees (91) were trees greater than 25 cm (diameter) at breast height which were topped and moved to loosen bark. Missouri style and tarpaper boxes were placed on posts 2.4 m high. The remaining structures were placed 3–11 m high on trees (same study areas as Hoeh et al. 2018). All structures were checked at least once/year in 1992–1999.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)