Bat boxes are not a silver bullet conservation tool


  • Editor: DR


Nest boxes are often promoted as substitute structures for hollow-dependent fauna, but are they generally effective? In a long-term bat-box monitoring project in south-eastern Australia, box occupancy was dominated by one common and widespread urban-adapted species, Gould's wattled bat Chalinolobus gouldii. In contrast, the 13 other bat species in the area made little or no use of the boxes. Policymakers, land managers and conservation professionals working in the field of biodiversity offsets should be aware that bat boxes are unlikely to compensate adequately for the broad-scale loss of tree hollows caused by various forms of human disturbance.