Why build bat houses? Because bats are essential. They protect our crops, reduce the use of pesticides that can cause cancer and dementia, and even help protect us from mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile. However, they are in alarming decline, often due to the loss of natural roosts.
Armed with this handy guide from Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation (MTBC), you can have fun helping both bats and your neighbourhood. The book summarizes decades of discoveries by more than a dozen leading experts to provide step-by-step instructions and diagrams for their favourite designs. Some of their conclusions will surprise you.
Whether you buy or build bat houses, your success will improve when using this guide. Follow our building advice or look for vendors who meet the high standards required to gain MTBC's Seal of Approval. And if you achieve exceptional success, or even unexplained failure, the authors will be keen to hear from you. Most of all, enjoy your bats and share your experiences with friends and neighbours!
- Opening Letter 1
- Why Do We Need Bats 2
- How Can You Help Bats? 4
- Getting Started 6
- Key Criteria for Success 10
- Mounting Your Bat House 20
- Who Can I Attract 24
- The Value of Experimenting 28
- Novel American Options 30
- Bat Houses Around the World 34
- Frequently Asked Questions 38
Appendix 1: Construction Materials 42
Appendix 2: Builder's Plans 46
Dr Merlin Tuttle has studied and photographed bats worldwide for more than sixty years. He founded and led Bat Conservation International (BCI) for nearly thirty years, then left BCI in 2009 and founded Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation (MTBC). Dr Tuttle has published his classic research on bats in leading journals, contributed five articles to National Geographic, and lectured at institutions of science, from Harvard and Princeton Universities to the Smithsonian and British Museums. He is recognized as the father of modern bat conservation and is credited with saving the now-famous Congress Avenue Bridge bat colony in Austin, Texas from extermination.
His unique photography and communication first led to the global appreciation of bats as safe, invaluable, and even adorable and likeable creatures. No one has better demonstrated the power of combining captivating photos with sound science to win friends instead of battles for bats. Nor has anyone better demonstrated how conservation can benefit humans. Tuttle's legendary photos and experience provide invaluable guidance and inspiration that must be preserved and shared for future generations.