Bat Roost Monitoring

Georgia DNR is looking for your help to monitor summer bat roosts across the state. This project involves counting bats exiting roosts at sunset just twice during each summer. Think you can help? Keep reading!

Bats may use a variety of structures for roosting both man-made and natural. Here are some examples:

  • Bat Box
  • Bat Condo
  • Houses
  • Barns
  • Other Buildings
  • Bridges
  • Mines
  • Trees
  • Caves

How do you count bats? First you need to figure out where bats are coming out. If it’s a bat house or bat condo, that’s easy. But other structures may have multiple areas for bats to exit. Look for signs like staining and guano (bat poop) to figure out where the bats are coming in and out.

Come early! Set up and be ready for counting at least 30 minutes before sunset. Bats usually come out before it’s completely dark.

To count bats, you should position yourself near the roost with the night sky as a background whenever possible. DO NOT shine lights at the roost to count bats. This may prevent bats from exiting. It’s also a good idea to be quiet during bat emergence.

Not all bats will leave the roost every night. You may still hear some squeaking from inside the roost but you can stop counting when the exit slows down and bats are only coming out occasionally. You may also notice some bats coming back in. That’s a good time to stop. Most emergences shouldn’t last more than 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Interested in keeping track of your bats? Download our instructionsbat roost counting form and identification guide and get started.

*The Georgia DNR Bat Roost Monitoring Citizen Science Project materials were adapted from materials developed by the by the PA Game Commission and the Wisconsin DNR.

Georgia DNR is looking for your help to monitor summer bat roosts across the state.