Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

October 2000


This paper reviews the basic concepts behind a comprehensive management approach to managing commensal species, and then considers how this approach is applied to bats that live within and about the built environment. Management activities should take into consideration the whole environment in which the target species is active, including the periodic changes that occur within that environment. Comprehensive management includes a clear understanding of: the biology, behavior and ecology of the species to be managed; the environment in which that species is active (especially harborage location); and the appropriate intervention methods used to manage such species. Interventions fall under eight general categories: educational, legal/regulatory, physical, cultural, biological, mechanical, chemical, and electric/electronic. It should be underscored that in the comprehensive approach, education is the single most important intervention and toxicants are the least emphasized action. Toxicants and other lethal measures are always contraindicated in the management of bats. The reasons for such limitations of interventions, and the overall components of the comprehensive strategy will be clarified. As applied to managing commensal bats, the discussion will review: values and dilemmas regarding bats; possible reasons why bats readily seek harborage in the built environment; intervention methods used, abused, and those to be avoided; and other considerations in the decision-making process for mediation of specific bat incidents.