Limited use of bat boxes in a rural landscape: implications for offsetting the clearing of hollow-bearing trees

  • Published source details Rueegger N., Goldingay R.L., Law B. & Gonsalves L. (2019) Limited use of bat boxes in a rural landscape: implications for offsetting the clearing of hollow-bearing trees. Restoration Ecology, 27, 901-911.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide bat boxes for roosting bats

Action Link
Bat Conservation
  1. Provide bat boxes for roosting bats

    A replicated study in 2010–2016 in woodland adjacent to a coal mine site in New South Wales, Australia (Rueegger et al 2019) found that 5–7% of bat boxes were occupied by three bat species, and a black box design was occupied more than four plywood designs by long-eared bats Nyctophilus spp. Bat boxes were occupied during 69 of 1,308 checks in the first year of the study, and 39 of 536 checks in the second year. Three of 13 tree cavity-roosting bat species known to be present used bat boxes (Gould’s wattled bat Chalinolobus gouldii, Gould’s long-eared bat Nyctophilus gouldi, lesser long-eared bat Nyctophilus geoffroyi). Most occupied bat boxes (72–85%) were used by solitary bats. Two boxes had maternity roosts. In the second year, long-eared bats had greater occupancy in a new design of black box (74%) than in four plywood designs (7%). In 2010–2014, a total of 109 plywood bat boxes were installed on trees (2.5–7 m high) in 24 clusters in a biodiversity-offset area. Four designs were used (one, two or four-chambered bat boxes and a wedge-shaped box; see original paper for details). In 2015–2016, bat boxes within eight of the 24 clusters were replaced with two boxes of a new design (four-chambered black box with air vents; 61 cm high x 45 cm wide). Boxes were checked monthly during the first year of the study (2014–2015) and once every 1–2 months in the second year (2015–2016).

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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