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Wednesday
Aug012018

Wolf Haven Bat Box Occupied by Maternity Colony

In 2012, a dozen bat boxes were erected at Wolf Haven International to enhance habitat for our 10 species of native bats.  Since their installation, bats have readily taken up residence.  Several designs were deployed, including the rocket box, mammoth box, single chambered flat box and a large box designed to house a maternity colony.  The Myotis female bats will congregate in large numbers to have their pups and raise young until they can fly, or are volant.  Providing artificial habitat (such as bat boxes) for these congregations, or maternity colonies, has proven difficult.  

    

Maternity box with rocket box in the background.

Finding the correct combination of characteristics (height, location, aspect, gap size, material, box size) that result in females choosing a box for raising young is all subject to discussion.  At Wolf Haven, the maternity box was found to be suitable for raising young.  Last year, we counted 311 female little brown bats residing in the box with young. 

Guano tray - a great way to know if your bat box is being used.

In June 2018, 375 female little brown bats were counted leaving the maternity box to forage for the evening, with many more young in the box unable to fly yet. With the success at Wolf Haven, CNLM has deployed more maternity boxes at other preserves, as providing artificial habitat for roosting and hibernating is a method to increase bat populations and lessen the threat of white nose syndrome.

Infared photo of bats leaving the box at night to forage.

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