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Individual study: Long-term monitoring suggests bat boxes may alter local bat community structure

Published source details

Griffiths S.R., Lumsden L.F., Bender R., Irvine R., Godinho L.N., Visintin C., Eastick D., Robert K.A. & Lentini P.E. (2018) Long-term monitoring suggests bat boxes may alter local bat community structure. Australian Mammalogy, 41, 273-278

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Provide bat boxes for roosting bats Bat Conservation

A replicated, before-and-after study in 1988–2018 in restored woodland near Melbourne, Australia (Griffiths et al. 2018) found that Gould’s wattled bats Chalinolobus gouldii used bat boxes more frequently than seven other bat species and were captured in higher numbers in the study area after bat boxes were installed. Ninety percent of bats (21,424 of 23,778) recorded using 37 bat boxes in 1994–2018 were Gould’s wattled bats. Gould’s wattled bats were recorded using bat boxes in each of 25 years of the study and used them as maternity roosts. Seven other bat species did not use bat boxes as maternity roosts and were recorded in them only occasionally and/or in low numbers (<1–6% of bats recorded; see original paper for data for individual species). More Gould’s wattled bats were captured in the study area after bat boxes were installed (average 49 bats/survey) than before (2 bats/survey) but the difference was not tested for statistical significance. Thirty-seven bat boxes of four designs (details not reported) were attached to Eucalyptus spp. trees (4–6 m above the ground). Boxes were checked monthly in 1994–2007 and every two months in 2008–2018. Bats were captured using four harp traps for two consecutive nights in autumn in each of two years before bat boxes were installed (1988, 1992) and in each of 18 years after (1996–2004, 2006–2013, 2018).

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)