Volume 21, Issue 2, Summer 2003

Making Room for Homeless Bats

By Amy Sugeno


Artificial Roost Research is one of the most fascinating and critical areas of bat conservation as natural roosts disappear at an alarming rate. Conventional bat houses offer alternative homes to 14 species of bats, but others require much more specialized roosts if they are to survive. Bat Conservation International is seeking solutions.

Artifical Bark
Many bats roost under the peeling bark of dead or dying trees. Several types of artificial bark are proving remarkably successful as alternative roosts for these bats in the American West. BCI hopes now to study the potential of artificial bark for Eastern species, especially the endangered Indiana myotis.

Bridge Roosts
Many bats will roost in appropriate spaces under bridges and overpasses. Just one percent of U.S. highway structures now offer suitable roosts, but minor design modifications in new bridges could easily provide homes for millions more bats. BCI is working to make that happen. We're also testing ways to add roosting spaces to existing bridges.

Stack Roosts
Stack roosts mimic the now-rare big, hollow trees that species such as Rafinesque's big-eared bats need for roosts. BCI has seven prototypes in place, and these bats are using five of them. But the expense of these roosts may limit their use. The next goal is to identify and test less costly ways of building similar roosts.

You can help create homes for bats. Here's how:

- Install a BCI-certified bat house for your neighborhood bats. Shop our catalog online at Batcatalog.com.

- This crucial BCI project, which needs $328 in research funds each day, is threatened by today's harsh economy. You can keep artificial roost research alive.

 
To sponsor one or more days of research, contact BCI Development Director at 512 327-9721 or development@batcon.org

To sponsor one or more days of research, contact BCI Development Director at 512 327-9721 or development@batcon.org

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