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Individual study: In artificial roost comparison, bats show preference for rocket box style

Published source details

Hoeh J.P.S., Bakken G.S., Mitchell W.A. & O'Keefe J.M. (2018) In artificial roost comparison, bats show preference for rocket box style. PLoS ONE, 13, e0205701

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Provide bat boxes for roosting bats Bat Conservation

A replicated study in 2015–2016 of suburban woodlots in Indiana, USA (Hoeh et al. 2018) found that rocket boxes were used by more Indiana bats Myotis sodalis than bat boxes or bark-mimic roosts, and four of five rocket boxes installed were used as maternity roosts. Artificial roost type had a significant effect on maximum weekly counts of bats emerging (data reported as statistical model results). Maximum nightly counts and the total number of bat days (days in which at least one bat was observed using the roost) were higher in rocket boxes (205–210 bats/night; 4,340–7,770 bat days) than in bat boxes (7–22 bats/night; 24–172 bat days) or bark-mimic roosts (1–2 bats/night; 7–15 bat days), although no statistical tests were carried out. Six clusters of three bat boxes were installed (three in 2015, three in 2016) with each cluster containing one of each roost type: rocket box (2-chambered wooden box, 26 cm wide x 107 cm high), bat box (3-chambered traditional wooden birdhouse style box, 18 cm wide x 40 cm high), bark-mimic roost (modified BrandenBark polyurethane roost, 16 cm wide x 130 cm wide). Roosts were installed on posts (6 m high) along the southern edge of wooded areas (same study area as Whitaker et al. 2006). Bats were excluded from one of the six clusters to allow roost temperatures to be monitored. Daytime checks and emergence counts were carried out at least twice/week in March–October 2015 and 2016.