Study

Reviewing the evidence on mitigation strategies for bats in buildings: informing best-practice for policy makers and practitioners

  • Published source details Lintott P. & Mathews F. (2018) Reviewing the evidence on mitigation strategies for bats in buildings: informing best-practice for policy makers and practitioners. Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), UK report.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Retain existing bat roosts and access points within developments

Action Link
Bat Conservation

Legally protect bats during development

Action Link
Bat Conservation

Create alternative bat roosts within developments

Action Link
Bat Conservation

Provide bat boxes for roosting bats

Action Link
Bat Conservation
  1. Retain existing bat roosts and access points within developments

    A review in 2018 of 283 studies of building developments in the UK (Lintott & Mathews 2018) found that two-thirds of retained and modified bat roosts were used by bats after development, and retained roosts were more likely to be used than new bat lofts or bat boxes installed to replace destroyed roosts. Bats used 67% of roosts that were retained and modified during reroofing work, whereas 52% of newly created bat lofts and 31% of bat boxes were used (the number of bats using roosts and bat lofts/bat boxes before and after development were not reported). Bats were four times more likely to be present in retained roosts than in new bat lofts and bat boxes installed to replace destroyed roosts (data reported as statistical model results). Retained roosts with enhancements, such as timber crevices and squeeze boxes, were six times more likely to be used by pipistrelles Pipistrellus spp. than those without enhancements. Retained roosts were also used by brown long-eared bats Plecotus auritus and Myotis spp. (see original report for data for individual species). The 283 studies (52 for retained and modified roosts, 112 for bat lofts, 119 for bat boxes; dates not reported) were collected from multiple sources, including practitioner reports and licence applications from across the UK, and reviewed in 2018.

  2. Legally protect bats during development

    A review in 2018 of 283 studies of bat roosts subject to licenced building developments in the UK (Lintott & Mathews 2018) found that 31–67% of compensation roosts were used by bats after development. Bats used 67% of roosts retained and modified during reroofing work, 52% of newly created bat lofts, and 31% of bat boxes after development (the number of bats using roosts and bat lofts/bat boxes before and after development were not reported). The roosts were used by common pipistrelles Pipistrellus pipistrellus, soprano pipistrelles Pipistrellus pygmaeus, brown long-eared bats Plecotus auritus and Myotis spp. (see original report for data for individual species). The 283 studies (52 for retained and modified roosts, 112 for bat lofts, 119 for bat boxes; dates not reported) were collected from multiple sources, including practitioner reports and licence applications from across the UK, and reviewed in 2018.

  3. Create alternative bat roosts within developments

    A review in 2018 of 283 studies of building developments in the UK (Lintott & Mathews 2018) found that just over half of newly created bat lofts and a third of bat boxes were used by bats, and new roosts built to replace destroyed roosts were less likely to be used than existing roosts that were retained and modified. Bats were present in 52% of newly created bat lofts after development, and in 31% of bat boxes (the number of bats using roosts and bat lofts/bat boxes before and after development were not reported). New bat lofts and bat boxes built to replace destroyed roosts were four times less likely to be used by bats than roosts retained and modified during reroofing work (data reported as statistical model results). Bat lofts and bat boxes were used by common pipistrelles Pipistrellus pipistrellus, soprano pipistrelles Pipistrellus pygmaeus, brown long-eared bats Plecotus auritus and Myotis spp. (see original report for data for individual species). The 283 studies (112 for bat lofts, 119 for bat boxes, 52 for retained and modified roosts; dates not reported) were collected from multiple sources, including practitioner reports and licence applications from across the UK, and reviewed in 2018.

  4. Provide bat boxes for roosting bats

    A review in 2018 of 119 studies of building developments in the UK (Lintott et al 2018) found that a third of bat boxes installed to replace destroyed roosts were used by bats, mainly Pipistrellus spp., and bats were more likely to use bat boxes when a greater number were installed across a site. Bats were present in 31% of bat boxes after development with the majority used by Pipistrellus spp. (27%). A small number of bat boxes were used by brown long-eared bats (2%) and Myotis spp. (2%). The roost status and number of bats using the roosts before and after development were not reported. The probability of at least one bat box being occupied by bats increased when a greater number of bat boxes were installed across a site (data reported as statistical model results). The 119 studies (dates not reported) were collected from multiple sources, including practitioner reports and licence applications from across the UK, and reviewed in 2018.

Output references

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