Conservation status

Many vespertilionines are experiencing population declines, particularly due to habitat destruction. A large number of these bats roost in dying or dead trees, as well as abandoned buildings, which are often targeted for removal.

A noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula) rests on a tree stump. (Photo by Nils Reinhard/OKAPIA/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

Legislative, organizational and grassroots efforts are now under way to protect populations. The Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), for example, is listed as Endangered by the IUCN. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists the causes of the decline as habitat disturbance, destruction and degradation, and pesticide use. Also listed as endangered under the U. S. Endangered Species Act, the species is protected from hunting or harassment. In addition, ongoing programs are managing bat habitats to ensure that species have sufficient roosting and hibernation sites, and to help educate the public on the bat's plight.

Concerned individuals have also become involved in the decline of vespertilionines and other species, and made various artificial roosts, like bat houses, more popular. According to Paul A. Racey of the U. K.'s Bat Conservation Trust, "Instead of trying to get rid of bats in their attics or other spaces, many home owners frequently ask bat workers how they can attract bats to their house. To accommodate bats, special roof ing tiles and clay bricks that facilitate the entry of bats to roof spaces are now marketed in the U. K."

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