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Bat use of commercial coniferous plantations at multiple spatial scales: Management and conservation implications

This study demonstrates that with sympathetic management, non-native conifer plantations may have an important role in maintaining and supporting bat populations, particularly for Pipistrellus spp.

Full details can be downloaded at


  • Many studies have demonstrated active avoidance by bats of non-native conifer plantations.
  • We found a wide range of bat species using Sitka Spruce plantations, particularly Pipistrellus species.
  • A high proportion of the Pipistrellus spp. captured were lactating females.
  • Responses to local and landscape-scale habitat characteristics differed between species and foraging guilds.
  • Increasing roost provision and maintaining thinning should benefit bat populations in plantations.


Commercial plantations are primarily managed for timber production, and are frequently considered poor for biodiversity, particularly for mammalian species. Bats, which constitute one fifth of mammal species worldwide, have undergone large declines throughout Europe, most likely due to widespread habitat loss and degradation. Bat use of modified landscapes such as urban or agricultural environments has been relatively well studied, however, intensively managed plantations have received less attention, particularly in Europe. We assessed three of the largest, most intensively managed plantations in the UK for the occurrence of bats, activity levels and relative abundance in response to environmental characteristics at multiple spatial scales, using an information theoretic approach. We recorded or captured nine species; Pipistrellus pipistrellus and P. pygmaeus were the most commonly recorded species on acoustic detectors and female P. pygmaeus were the most commonly captured. The influence of environmental characteristics on bat activity varied by species or genus, although all bat species avoided dense stands. Occurrence and activity of clutter and edge adapted species were associated with lower stand densities and more heterogeneous landscapes whereas open adapted bats were more likely to be recorded at felled stands and less likely in areas that were predominantly mature conifer woodland. In addition, despite morphological similarities, P. pipstrellus and P. pygmaeus were found foraging in different parts of the plantation. This study demonstrates that with sympathetic management, non-native conifer plantations may have an important role in maintaining and supporting bat populations, particularly for Pipistrellus spp.

SNH Commissioned Report No 928: Bats and Licensing: A report on the success of maternity roost compensation measures

Publication Detail

SNH Commissioned Report No 928: Bats and Licensing: A report on the success of maternity roost compensation measures

This project looked at a sample of cases where SNH has licensed the damage or destruction, under licence, of bat maternity roosts for development purposes. In each such instance the licence requires that measures are incorporated into the final development to compensate for this damage or loss. The success or otherwise of these features, including whether or not bats used these features was assessed. Factors affecting the likelihood of success are discussed.


Format : 55 pages; 1.07MB
Published in 2016

Fundraise for bats this Christmas

Fundraise for bats this Christmas

If you are throwing a Christmas party keep your furry friends in mind and fundraise for BCT. Pin badges are always a crowd-pleaser but you can just have a collection tin and some leaflets around.

Email us at if you wish to help bats this Christmas and click HERE for some fundraising ideas.


How to join the BCT…

Bats are utterly unique but often overlooked and underloved making them vulnerable to persecution and habitat loss.

By becoming a member you’ll be adding your voice to ours in speaking up for bats and helping us to help bats by:

·         Running the Bat Helpline, saving thousands of bats each year

·         Monitoring bat populations, to inform our conservation work

·         Lobbying decision-makers to safeguard bats and their habitats

·         Educating a wide range of people about bats through publications, events and the media

A BCT membership also makes for a wonderful gift! Click HERE to know more about the different types of membership we offer.


Tattershall Church Cleaning

Many thanks to those that helped with the church clean on Saturday, we managed to get a lot done, though there is still a bit to do.  With this in mind I am hoping to organise another day (it may only need to be a half-day) to finish the odd bits off we didn’t get round to.  This will be on Tuesday 22nd.  If you are able to help, can you please let Ian know,

Bat Research Papers, Reports and Other Publications

Please note we normally only include bat related articles, reports and blogs in this section where they are available to read online or to download without charge. Exceptionally we do include details of papers or other items where we think they will be of particular interest but where only abstracts or summary information is available, but we will include a note of that in the text about the article.  For more information about how to access journal papers see the BCT website at:

Experimentally comparing the attractiveness of domestic lights to insects: Do LEDs attract fewer insects than conventional light types?  – Published in Ecology and Evolution, the full paper can be read or downloaded at:

Environmental and spatial drivers of taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic characteristics of bat communities in human-modified landscapes – investigating aspects of bat communities in a human-modified landscape in Costa Rica, this paper by Cisneros et al is available at:

Using bats to monitor invasive insects – not a paper yet but an interesting article and TED talk from researchers in the US, looking at DNA from bat droppings to identify invasive insects. Article can be read at: and the TED talk is online at:

Unveiling the Hidden Bat Diversity of a Neotropical Montane Forest – Chaverri et al studied bats in mountain regions of Central America, areas under threat from climate change but where bat species had been poorly studied. The full paper is available online at:

First Direct Evidence of Long-distance Seasonal Movements and Hibernation in a Migratory Bat – study investigating the movements of hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus) in North America using GPS tags and data loggers. The full paper is available at:

Activity pattern and fat accumulation strategy of the Natterer’s bat (Vespertilionidae, Chiroptera) swarming population indicate the exact time of male mating effort – Kohyt et al  studied Natterer’s bats in Poland, investigating the interactions between the sexes and fat accumulation for hibernation. Read the full paper online at:

Guidelines for Rescue Centres – not bat specific but the British Veterinary Zoological Society has published guidelines aimed at offering support to veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses and wildlife rehabilitators, in order to promote and achieve the best possible care and welfare for indigenous British wild animals in accordance with UK law. The Guidelines can be found at:

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Wildlife Detection and Observation Technologies at a Solar Power Tower Facility – Solar power towers produce electrical energy from sunlight at an industrial scale. Little is known about the effects of this technology on flying animals (inc. bats). The paper in PLOS ONE by Diehl et al is available online at

MMU Blog Post – the Bat Research Group at Manchester Metropolitan University have written a blog based on their attendance at the National Bat Conference this year. They are also still calling for bat carers to send photos of wing tears and receive swab kits. Read the full blog at:

Bat Bridge Blog Post – NEXT Architects have written a blog for us about their bridge for people and bats in the Netherlands. You can read the full blog at: