Editor-in-Chief: Denys, Christiane
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Effect of barn conversion on bat roost sites in Hertfordshire, England
Many timber framed barns are used by bats that roost in mortice joints within the timber structures. Most of these barns are now redundant and are being converted into dwellings. Attempts have been made over the last ten years to give advice on how to accommodate bats in these conversions. This paper examines what has happened at 40 farms where bats have been previously recorded. I have considered the original 40 farms as 63 units because many of the sites have been sub-divided into a number of individual dwellings by the contractors. Of the 51 units that were resurveyed, 36 units had been developed. Only eight of these 36 units were being used by bats (Myotis nattereri, Plecotus auritus, Pipistrellus spp. and Eptesicus serotinus); fifteen units had no evidence of use by bats but there was access for bats to return in the future; and thirteen units had no bat use with no potential for bats to return. Fifteen of the 51 resurveyed units had not been developed; all were still being used by bats. The influence of barn conversions on each bat species is discussed. Recommended improvements and an explanation of DEFRA licensing are provided.
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