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News MassWildlife launches new bat house initiative

MassWildlife has launched a new initiative to install bat houses across the state. Learn about the 9 different species of bats found in Massachusetts, and what you can do to help support bat conservation.
5/01/2021
  • Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
  • MassWildlife's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program

Media Contact for MassWildlife launches new bat house initiative

Marion Larson, MassWildlife

Bat House

Throughout Massachusetts there are nine species of bats, five of which are considered endangered. Currently, one of the greatest threats to bats is White-nose Syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease that has caused devastating mortality of bats that spend their winters hibernating in caves and mines. Bat houses provide clean homes for bats that are free of white-nose syndrome.  

Last year, MassWildlife launched a new effort to construct and install bat houses to raise awareness about the important role bats play in our environment and get more bat houses out on the landscape. Artificial roost sites (like bat houses) are tools for mitigation, conservation, and habitat enhancements for sensitive bat species. Properly constructed and strategically placed bat houses can be an important tool in assisting bat survival. So far, MassWildlife has installed 30 bat houses on MassWildlife Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and private lands, with more planned to be installed later this year.

Get involved 

  • Build a bat house: One of the best ways you can support bat conservation is to put up an artificial roost, like a bat house. Bat houses give females a safe, warm place to raise their young. Since most female bats only have one pup each year, bat populations grow very slowly. Additionally, due to habitat loss and degradation, it is becoming harder for bats to locate natural roost sites to raise their young. Installing a bat house on your property can provide a safe environment for bats, while protecting your yard from pest insects, like mosquitoes, moths, and beetles. Bat houses can be purchased or you can build your own. You can find a guide to bat houses on MassWildlife’s website, including plans for building a bat house, installation tips, and advice for attracting bats to your bat house.  
  • Become a volunteer bat monitor: MassWildlife is looking for volunteers to help monitor its newly installed bat houses on Wildlife Management Areas. No special bat experience required! Monitors will be asked to visit the site of their assigned bat house at least once a month during June, July, and August, and report to MassWildlife if bats are present. Volunteers must have their own transportation to the site and be able to navigate using a set of GPS coordinates. Prospective volunteers should fill out this application form no later than May 21. MassWildlife will contact you with details if a bat house is in need of a monitor in your area. 

For more information on WNS and other threats to bats, see MassWildlife’s webpage on bat mortality in Massachusetts.

Bat box at Frances Crane WMA

Bat box at Frances Crane WMA

Bat box at Mill Brook Bogs WMA

Bat box at Mill Brook Bogs WMA

Close-up of the bat box before installation

Close-up of the bat box before installation

Media Contact for MassWildlife launches new bat house initiative

Division of Fisheries and Wildlife 

MassWildlife is responsible for the conservation of freshwater fish and wildlife in the Commonwealth, including endangered plants and animals. MassWildlife restores, protects, and manages land for wildlife to thrive and for people to enjoy.

MassWildlife's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program 

The Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program is responsible for the conservation and protection of hundreds of species that are not hunted, fished, trapped, or commercially harvested in the state, as well as the protection of the natural communities that make up their habitats.
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