South Dakota Bat Working Group
Last update December, 2014

Research concerning bat houses in SD

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Bat biologist Joel Tigner and graduate student Sarah Lewis have been collaborating with South Dakota Game Fish and Parks to assess the environmental and physiographic factors that may influence the occupancy of bat houses in SD.

Three different bat house designs were each tested at 26 sites across South Dakota: Eurobox, BCI-maternity box, & the Rocketbox.

Sarah following installation of bat houses at Shadehill RA.
Photo by Joel Tigner


While research has shown bat houses can take several years to become inhabited, 21 of the 30 houses put up West River were occupied in the first summer following installation! Three sites showed evidence of housing maternity colonies in one or more boxes. Of the remaining 48 East River and Missouri River houses, 9 Rocketboxes were occupied in the first season.



kaitfers ranch
All three designs at the Kaitfers Ranch in Ralph, SD

This initial occupancy of 38% indicates a bright future in the use of bat houses for insect control and wildlife observation for South Dakotans in years to come!

Rocketbox with SM2 detector
attached at Lake Louise RA



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