University of Illinois Testing Bat-Box Design Improvements

Many designs for bat boxes may be putting the residents at risk from excess heat, say University of Illinois scientists who have conducted extensive thermal testing. The temperature inside the boxes may be 68 degrees higher than the air temperature, and boxes crowded with bats also concentrate their body heat. Scientists are looking at longer, four-sided designs that offer bats a chance to escape afternoon heat while they roost. They’ve also looked at insulated designs. Joy O’Keefe, an assistant professor and wildlife extension specialist in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at Illinois, maintains a website providing tips for making bat boxes safer for bats.