Use of Ultrasonic Acoustic Technology for Temporary Deterrence of Bats from Bridges
White-Nose Syndrome and increased disturbance of habitats used by bats for roosting and foraging has led to a growing concern about the bat population in the US in the last decade. Bridge repair and replacement projects are required to follow additional regulatory requirements to avoid and minimize impacts to bats when protected bat species are present on bridges. Some of these requirements (e.g., timing restrictions) are challenging to implement, given Minnesota’s short construction season. The objective of this project was to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of deploying non-lethal ultrasonic acoustic devices in the field to temporarily deter bats from roosting on bridges ahead of construction or maintenance activities, while minimizing harm to bats and non-target species. The technology was evaluated at two test sites located in Minnesota, one short term and one long term, during the summer of 2019. The data from the field inspections indicate that acoustic deterrents appear to effectively work to temporarily deter bats from select abutments and present an option to temporarily deter bats at construction sites. This technology could be implemented by any transportation agency, but would require the development of an agency protocol, through collaboration of relevant offices.
Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board
Bektas, B. A., Blanchong, J., Freeseman, K., Albughdadi, A. (2021). Use of ultrasonic acoustic technology for temporary deterrence of bats from bridges. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2672(2), 418-428. https://doi.org/10.1177/03611981211043816
Link to Publisher Version (DOI)
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Copyright © 2021 National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board.