, WCS Canada
© WCS Canada

Bat boxes

Bats need homes, but they need the right homes.

The idea of building a ‘bat house’ to help out our only flying mammal has a lot of appeal. Some boards, nails and glue and you can have a home for bats up and ready for accommodation in an afternoon. But is it really that simple?

Our research

Better bat boxes for Canada

Many recommendations on bat box design are based on research in the United States, especially Texas, and in Europe. But the design bats prefer can vary by region and species. Designs from warmer climates could even reduce survival and reproductive success if they don't provide an appropriate temperature range for Canadian bats. Our guide to bat box best practices summarizes what we know - and don't know - about safe and effective bat boxes in Canada and the US.

Bat ‘condos’ vs. Bat boxes

What's better for bats - a house or a whole apartment building? We're monitoring both types of artificial habitat to see if there are differences in reproductive success for Little Brown Myotis and Yuma Myotis bats. We're also monitoring the microclimates inside each structure. In addition, we're monitoring whether bats switch roosts to avoid temperature extremes, and whether these extremes change behaviour, or even result in death.

Want to build a bat box?

Learn how to make a safe and effective home
for urban bats.

Read our guide

Have a bat box?

You can help improve bat conservation in Canada by sharing information about your bat box.

Alberta | Elsewhere in Canada

Stories and op-eds

‘Bat boxes’ could help revive Canada’s depleting bat population
2021-08-05

‘Bat boxes’ could help revive Canada’s depleting bat population

From habitat loss to disease, bat species across Canada are facing multiple threats. As cities expand, the large old trees that bats call home are being cleared and bats are losing their roosts.
What’s the Best Way to Welcome Bats to the Neighborhood? The Goldilocks Approach.
2019-09-27

What’s the Best Way to Welcome Bats to the Neighborhood? The Goldilocks Approach.

In a warming climate, some bat houses could be death traps. But community-level bat boxes can help give bats more room and options to raise young safely.
Cori Lausen

Press releases

Bats need homes, but they need the right homes
2023-11-28

Bats need homes, but they need the right homes

Comprehensive guide to deploying bat houses released