Volume 37, Issue 1, 2018

Living the Good Life

An Intro to Bat Condos

Bat flying in the sky
A bat condo and pole mounted bat house installed side by side by the
Pennsylvania Game Commission. Courtesy of Janet Tyburec / BCI

Ah, the pleasures of condo living—limited privacy, minuscule yards, and the joys of dealing with the condo association. But if you’re a bat, condo living can be downright luxurious.

Large free-standing bat houses, dubbed ‘bat condos,’ provide roosting opportunities for colonies of bats ranging in size from a few hundred to several thousand. Records show that the first bat condos were built in the late 1800s for yellow-fever and malaria mosquito control. Now, these structures can be found dotting the landscape of the United States and Canada. Notable examples are found on the University of Florida campus, on the banks of the Guadalupe River in Texas and (until it was destroyed by Hurricane Irma in 2017) on Lower Sugarloaf Key in Florida.

Currently, BCI is working with federal and private partners in Idaho and Oregon to construct condos in an effort to provide habitat as mitigation for the loss of habitat for large nearby colonies. No condo association required.




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