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House Bat Management


The United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, has responsibility for protection and management of bats to alleviate conflicts with man. A major obstacle to effective house bat management has been the lack of a single source of background information and sound recommendations for solutions to the different problems that sometimes arise when humans and bats interact. This publication provides a compendium of facts and techniques to respond to this problem and to guide future bat management activities.

In "House Bat Management," emphasis has been placed on nonlethal control as preferable to lethal control. Chemical toxicants do not solve the problems but often create worse ones. Recommended management methods should be selective for the offending bats, should not be hazardous to human beings or the environment, and should have no long-term harmful effects on bat populations. The objective should be exclusion. The batproofing techniques described herein provide numerous acceptable alternatives to lethal poisons and chemicals for dealing with bat problems and hazards.

Recent declines in bat populations throughout North America and greater appreciation of their ecological roles have contributed to the need for sound management policies and strategies essential for bat conservation. Future research needs have also been identified to build upon the base of knowledge reviewed in this manual.

"House Bat Management" should be useful to homeowners, wildlife biologists and managers, public health officials, physicians, veterinarians, conservationists, architects, building contractors, urban planners, and others interested in or concerned about bat interactions with humans.

David L. Trauger, Chief
Division of Wildlife Ecology Research

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