Post-release survival of hand-reared pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus spp.)

  • Published source details Kelly A., Goodwin S., Grogan A. & Mathews F. (2008) Post-release survival of hand-reared pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus spp.). Animal Welfare, 17, 375-382.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Rehabilitate injured/orphaned bats to maintain wild bat populations

Action Link
Bat Conservation
  1. Rehabilitate injured/orphaned bats to maintain wild bat populations

    A study in 2002–2006 at a wildlife rehabilitaton centre in the UK (Kelly et al 2008) found that five hand-reared Pipistrellus spp. bats released into the wild after prolonged flight training in a large flight cage survived for at least 5–10 nights and were active each night, but seven bats released after a limited amount of flight training or training in a limited space did not survive or were less active after release. Five bats that flew for 21 days in a large flight cage (7 x 4 x 2.3 m) before release were radio-tracked for 5–10 days after their release and were recorded actively flying each night. Two bats that flew in a smaller flight enclosure (3 x 2 x 1.8 m) before release flew well on the first night after release but did not fly on the second and third nights. Five bats that flew for 20 minutes/day in an enclosed room before release were found on the ground within 48 h of release (four bats) or contact was lost with the radio tag (one bat). All of 12 injured or orphaned bats were hand-reared by domestic carers (seven bats) or a wildlife rehabilitation centre (five bats). Bat pups were kept in an incubator and fed a milk substitute. At 3–4 weeks old, they were moved to unheated bat boxes and weaned onto mealworms. Bats were radio-tracked for 1–10 nights following release from their bat boxes at sites close to known bat roosts in 2002, 2005 or 2006.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust