Action Synopsis: Bat Conservation About Actions

Control invasive plant species

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of controlling invasive plant species on bat populations. The study was in the USA.



  • Abundance (1 study): One site comparison study in the USA found that two of seven forest fragments where invasive plant species had been removed alongside other restoration practices had significantly higher bat activity (relative abundance) than two unrestored forest fragments.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A site comparison study in 2004–2005 in nine forest fragments within the Chicago metropolitan area, USA (Smith & Gehrt 2010) found that two of seven forest fragments that had undergone restoration, including invasive plant species removal, had higher bat activity than two unrestored forest fragments. Bat activity was higher in two forest fragments that had been restored with invasive plant species removal, multiple prescribed burns, and snag recruitment (average 7–19 bat passes/survey) than in two control sites with no restoration (average 1–4 bat passes/survey). Bat activity was similar between control sites and five other forest fragments that had been restored with various combinations of invasive plant species removal, multiple prescribed burns, snag recruitment and deer population control (1–6 bat passes/survey). Six bat species were recorded in total (see original paper for data for individual species). The study does not distinguish between the effects of invasive plant species removal and the other interventions carried out. Fire suppression over the last 100 years had altered the structure of the nine forest fragments (10–260 ha in size). Seven of the nine forest fragments were being restored to open the canopy, reduce tree density and remove invasive plant species. At each of nine sites, four bat detectors recorded bat activity for 4 h from sunset for five nights/year in June–September 2004 and May–August 2005.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Berthinussen, A., Richardson O.C. and Altringham J.D. (2021) Bat Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions. Conservation Evidence Series Synopses. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.


Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

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Bat Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Bat Conservation
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What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

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