Population changes of brown long-eared bats (Plecotus auritus) in bat boxes at Thetford Forest

  • Published source details Boyd I.L. & Stebbings R.E. (1989) Population changes of brown long-eared bats (Plecotus auritus) in bat boxes at Thetford Forest. Journal of Applied Ecology, 26, 101-112.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide bat boxes for roosting bats

Action Link
Bat Conservation
  1. Provide bat boxes for roosting bats

    A replicated study in 1975–1987 in a mature coniferous forest in Suffolk, UK (Boyd & Stebbings 1989) found that the total population of brown long-eared bats Plecotus auritus (males, females and juveniles) occupying bat boxes doubled over the study period. The number of bats occupying the boxes increased from 73 to 140 bats. A total of 480 bat boxes were installed, but the proportion of boxes occupied is not reported. Bats roosted in the boxes both individually and in clusters of up to 20 bats. Bat boxes (10 x 15 x 15 cm internal dimensions) were constructed from untreated wood and installed in 1975. Two groups of four boxes (each facing north, south, east, and west) were installed on each of 60 trees at a height of 3 or 5 m. In 1984 and 1985, the boxes were redistributed across 10 new sites within the forest. Boxes were checked and bats removed for identification and ringing 2–4 times/year in 1976–1987.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 20

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered speciesVincet Wildlife Trust