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Bats, People, and Buildings: Issues & Opportunities

Photo of Maternity colony of female big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) roosting in a manmade bat house.Maternity colony of female big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) roosting in a manmade bat house.Snapshot : Proponents for wood as construction material cite timber as a sustainable resource, with almost limitless supply, low carbon footprint, and opportunities for reclamation. But sustainable building design can and should consider broader issues, such as losses to biodiversity. This article presents opportunities to incorporate bat-friendly design into construction projects.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Pfeiffer, Martin J.  
Research Station : Forest Products Laboratory (FPL)
Year : 2019
Highlight ID : 1599


Bats are amazing animals. They are among the best flyers in the natural world and are able to maneuver in the dark to intersect small flying insects. Bats consume large quantities of insects and this helps suppress populations of pests that destroy agricultural crops and forests. Bats also pollinate many species of plants that provide humans with food and medicine. Most people in the United States view bats as pests, and this view has undoubtedly contributed to precipitous declines for some species. In much of Europe, bats are protected and measures are taken to incorporate bat housing into buildings and bat-friendly habitat into neighborhoods. Many bat species in the United States also take advantage of human structures. With good design, bat housing can be incorporated into buildings and other structures and to provide support for U.S. bat populations. This publication provides an overview of resources available to help people who want to support bats with their existing structures or new building projects.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

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