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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Protecting and managing underground sites for bats

Published source details

Mitchell-Jones A.J., Bihari Z., Masing M. & Rodrigues L. (2007) Protecting and managing underground sites for bats. EUROBATS report.


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

Conserve roosting sites for bats in old structures or buildings Bat Conservation

A before-and-after study in 1993–1997 of a disused railway tunnel in Wiltshire, UK (Mitchell-Jones et al. 2007) found that conserving a roosting site by constructing walls with access grilles at the ends of the tunnel, along with attaching wood to the tunnel walls, resulted in an increase in the number of hibernating bats. More bats were counted hibernating in the tunnel after the end walls were constructed and wood attached (before: 117 bats; two years after: 190 bats). During fourteen subsequent surveys (dates not reported), the number of hibernating bats increased to 678, with 30% of bats roosting behind the wood on the tunnel walls. The majority (94%) were Natterer’s bats Myotis nattereri. Brown long-eared bats Plecotus auritus, Daubenton’s bats Myotis daubentonii, whiskered/Brandt’s bats Myotis mystacinus/brandtii and barbastelle bats Barbastella barbastellus were also recorded. The end walls with access grilles were constructed in 1994, and wood was attached to the tunnel walls in 1994 and 1995. The temperature was reported to be more stable after the end walls were constructed (before: not reported; after: 8˚C) and humidity inside the tunnel increased (before: 80%; after 95%). Hibernating bats were counted in the winters of 1993 and 1996/1997.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)