Effects of fire and its severity on occupancy of bats in mixed pine-oak forests

  • Published source details Burns L.V.L, Loeb S.C. & Bridges W.C. Jr. (2019) Effects of fire and its severity on occupancy of bats in mixed pine-oak forests. Forest Ecology and Management, 446, 151-163.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed burning

Action Link
Bat Conservation
  1. Use prescribed burning

    A replicated, paired sites study in 2014–2015 in 11 paired areas of mixed forest in Tennessee and Kentucky, USA (Burns et al 2019) found that burned sites had a higher occupancy of five bat species or species groups than unburned sites, and burn severity had a negative effect on Myotis spp. and tri-colored bats Perimyotis subflavus. Overall, burned sites had a higher occupancy of five bat species/species groups (big brown bats Eptesicus fuscus/silver-haired bats Lasionycteris noctivagans, eastern red bats Lasiurus borealis/evening bats Nycticeius humeralis, Myotis spp., tri-colored bats, hoary bats Lasiurus cinereus) than unburned sites (data reported as statistical model results). Occupancy of Myotis spp. and tri-colored bats was higher in sites burned with a low severity than a moderate severity. A total of 164 paired forest sites were surveyed within 11 burned and 11 unburned areas (each 10–1,150 ha). Burned areas had been treated with low or moderate intensity prescribed fire (or wildfire at one site) at least once in the past 10 years. Bat presence and activity were recorded simultaneously with bat detectors at paired sites for at least two full nights in May–August 2014 and 2015.

    (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 21

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 ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust