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
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
three designs at the Kaitfers Ranch in Ralph,
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!