South Dakota Bat Working Group
Last update May 2013

Bat conservation &
livestock water tanks

Submitted by Brad Phillips

Livestock Tanks with Molded
Wildlife Escape Ramps

These are 10’ diameter, heavy duty fiberglass tanks. The escape ramps are molded into the tank itself. It can’t break loose, animals cannot get trapped behind it, and there’s nothing to repair. Price: $735.00 each (w/o shipping). Discounts may be available with larger orders.

Fiberglass Structures, Inc. Laurel, MT
Contact: Jay Story (406) 628-1043

The Wildlife for Water program was initiated by Bat Conservation International (BCI) in response to the need to have functioning, effective wildlife escape ramps in all livestock watering troughs. Years of monitoring wildlife deaths at these stock tanks found that bats also fall victim to tanks without an escape ramp.

BCI recently published Water for Wildlife- A Handbook for Ranchers and Range Managers (available at BCI’s website: This handbook gives very useful information about the problem, good reasons to care (including improved water quality), and it provides easy solutions and instructions on how to build and properly place escape ramps so they reduce wildlife deaths and keep the livestock water cleaner.

If you would like more information on this handbook, contact: Dan Taylor - (858)-551-5105 7325 Cuvier Street, La Jolla, CA 92037

In a continuing effort to help with this project, biologists contacted a company that manufactures fiberglass stock tanks. Working with the company representative a new design was drafted that molded an ‘escape ramp’ right into the tank. The company is Fiberglass Structures, Inc. (Laurel, MT) and they are to be commended for their pro-active stance on this issue.

While this will not fix the thousands of stock tanks that are currently out on our public and private rangelands it provides an excellent option when land managers go to purchase new tanks.

Brad Phillips, Wildlife Biologist
Black Hills National Forest

Contact: Brad Phillips

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