Bat houses (or more aptly described as bat boxes) are popular across the continent. But are they beneficial or harmful for bats over the long haul?
There is growing concern that these structures can act as ecological sinks in some cases. For example, anecdotal and published reports of bats overheating in bat boxes raises a red flag concerning these anthropogenic roosts in a changing climate. Cori revisits the roles that bat boxes can play in habitat mitigation and present critical background information that sets the stage for understanding problems associated with bat boxes and what might be done. She also explores the advantages and disadvantages of bat boxes, and fundamental issues we need to address when considering artificial bat habitat.
Based in Kaslo, Cori Lausen is a bat research and conservation biologist, and an Associate Conservation Scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada. With a PhD in bat landscape genetics and roosting ecology and a MSc in bat ecophysiology and behaviour from the University of Calgary, Cori has captured over 15,000 bats and over 30 bat species, been contracted to do bat-related work for numerous Canadian and U.S. agencies, led dozens of bat-related scientific projects, authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles and government reports, and is the recipient of 15 academic and conservation awards. In 2011, Cori joined WCS Canada, which has an on-the-ground program in the West Kootenays that aims to bolster bat populations pre-WNS and set the stage for quicker population recovery post-WNS.