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What Works in Conservation 2020

William J. Sutherland
Lynn V. Dicks
Silviu O. Petrovan
et al.

2. Bat conservation

2.11 Habitat protection

Texte intégral

Likely to be beneficial

Legally protect bat habitats

1Five studies evaluated the effects of legally protecting bat habitats on bat populations. Four studies were in Europe, and one in India.


3Community composition (1 study): One replicated, site comparison study in India found that the composition of bat species was similar in protected forest and unprotected forest fragments.

4Richness/diversity (2 studies): Two replicated, site comparison or paired sites studies in Europe and India found that the number of bat species did not differ between protected and unprotected forests or forest fragments. One replicated, site comparison study in France found that protected sites had a greater number of bat species than unprotected sites.


6Abundance (4 studies): One replicated, site comparison study in the UK found that the activity (relative abundance) of Daubenton’s bats was higher over rivers on farms in protected areas than in unprotected areas. One replicated, paired sites study in Europe found that the activity of common noctule bats was higher in protected forests than unprotected forests, but bat activity overall did not differ. Two replicated, site comparison studies in France and India found higher overall bat activity, higher activity of three of six bat species/species groups and a greater number of bats in protected sites and forests than unprotected sites and forests.


8Use (1 study): One study in Spain found that the distributions of 10 of 11 bat species overlapped with areas designated to protect them significantly more than by chance.

9Assessment: likely to be beneficial (effectiveness 50 %; certainty 41 %; harms 0 %).


Unknown effectiveness

Conserve roosting sites for bats in old structures or buildings

11Two studies evaluated the effects of conserving roosting sites for bats in old structures or buildings on bat populations. Both studies were in the UK.



14Abundance (1 study): One before-and-after study in the UK found that a greater number of bats hibernated in a railway tunnel after walls with access grilles were installed at the tunnel entrances and wood was attached to the tunnel walls.


16Use (1 study): One before-and-after study in the UK found that Natterer’s bats used a roost that was ‘boxed-in’ within a church, but the number of bats using the roost was reduced by half.

17Assessment: unknown effectiveness (effectiveness 50 %; certainty 20 %; harms 0 %).


No evidence found (no assessment)

19We have captured no evidence for the following interventions:

  • Retain buffer zones around core bat habitat
  • Retain connectivity between habitat patches
  • Retain existing bat commuting routes
  • Retain native forest and woodland
  • Retain remnant habitat patches
  • Retain veteran and standing dead trees as roosting sites for bats
  • Retain wetlands.

Table des illustrations

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