Action Synopsis: Bat Conservation About Actions

Use shelterwood cutting instead of clearcutting

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of using shelterwood cutting instead of ‘gap release’ cutting on bat populations. The study was in Australia. We found no studies that evaluated the effects of shelterwood cutting instead of clearcutting.




  • Use (1 study): One site comparison study in Australia found more Gould’s long-eared bats roosting in remnant trees within forests that had been shelterwood harvested than in forests harvested using gap release methods. Comparisons were not made with clearcutting.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated, site comparison study in 2009 of 21 radio-tracked bats in jarrah Eucalyptus marginata forest in south-western Australia (Webala et al 2010) found that shelterwood harvested forests had more Gould’s long-eared bat Nyctophilus gouldi and southern forest bat Vespadelus regulus roosts than gap release forests. More Gould’s long-eared bat roosts were in remnant trees in shelterwood forests (10 roosts, 37%) than in gap release forests (one roost, 3%). The remainder of tracked Gould’s long-eared bats roosted in mature forest (eight roosts, 30%) and riparian buffers (eight roosts, 30%). Only one southern forest bat roost was found in shelterwoods, and none in gap release forests. Most southern forest bat roosts were in mature unlogged forest (15 roosts, 71%) and riparian buffers (five roosts, 24%). Shelterwood forest had retention levels of 40–60%. Gap release forest had 95% of the mature overstory removed. Riparian buffers and mature forest areas had been undisturbed for >30 years. Eleven Gould’s long-eared bats and 10 southern forest bats were caught with harp traps at two water holes and radio-tracked for 3–8 days in February–March 2009.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Berthinussen, A., Richardson O.C. and Altringham J.D. (2021) Bat Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions. Conservation Evidence Series Synopses. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.


Where has this evidence come from?

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Bat Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Bat Conservation
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