4 Ways to Achieve a Bat-Friendly Project Site

By |2018-11-02T08:34:39+00:00August 13th, 2015|Tags: , , |

Eight species of bats within the U.S. are listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as threatened or endangered, and several others are proposed for listing or listed as threatened and/or endangered by a state agency. Increasingly, projects must demonstrate lack of impact to bat migration, foraging zones, and nesting sites or have a bat biologist on project staff. But, there are steps you can take to help you achieve a bat-friendly project site.

Eight species of bats within the U.S. are listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as threatened or endangered, and several others are proposed for listing or listed as threatened and/or endangered by a state agency. Increasingly, projects must demonstrate lack of impact to bat migration, foraging zones, and nesting sites or have a bat biologist on project staff. But, there are steps you can take to help you achieve a bat-friendly project site.

  1. Start planning now. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state agencies have a wealth of information to help you determine if a project is in an area potentially containing protected species.
  2. Be willing to adapt. Some bat species, such as the northern long-eared bat, hibernate in caves during the winter, but roost in trees during the summer months when they are actively foraging on insects. If you’re in this type of area, construction may be delayed until they go back into hibernation.
  3. Be careful when demolishing structures. Demolitions may be fun to watch, but can be very detrimental to some bat species. Many bats commonly roost in man-made structures. And that means one demolition of a bridge or building can kill a colony of thousands of bats.
  4. When in doubt, hire a specialist. A specialist can save time and money by bringing extensive experience and specialized knowledge to your team. Try to hire someone with experience dealing with your species of concern in your area. A mammologist is your best bet, guiding your project through the hurdles of changing bat regulations.

Fun Facts!

  1. One bat can eat 600 to 1,000 mosquitoes and other insects in one hour, and it’s estimated that bats eat 6,000 to 18,000 metric tons of insects annually in Texas alone!
  2. There are more than 1,000 species of bats in the world, making up 25% of all mammal species.
  3. The world’s smallest mammal is the Bumblebee Bat, weighing less than a penny or two grams.
  4. Flying Foxes are the largest bats with wingspans up to six feet.

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About the author

Kate Lindekugel
Kate Lindekugel
As an environmental scientist, Kate has more than 13 years of experience including ecological surveys and field studies, functional assessments, preparing environmental reports and permits, data management, stream channel and wetland restoration, peer reviewed research, and coordinating with local, state, and federal regulatory agencies, as well as public and private stakeholders.

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