Leveraging Abandoned Railroad Tunnels for Bat Conservation

The goal of this project is to protect and enhance existing tunnel hibernacula for bats, and to maximize the habitat value of abandoned tunnels. Unfortunately, it is unclear why some tunnel sites are used as hibernacula by bats while others are not; whether unused hibernacula sites can be managed to promoted use by bats (potentially garnering mitigation credit); and whether bats inhabiting these tunnels represent growing, healthy populations, or whether bats in the tunnels continue to be affected by white-nose syndrome (WNS). This research will provide Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) with: (1) Mapped documentation of sampled abandoned tunnels, regardless if being used or not used as bat hibernacula; (2) Site-specific documentation of the winter population at each surveyed location, along with trends in growth or decline; (3) Recommendations for enhancing unused hibernacula to make it suitable for bats; (4) Recommendations for enhancing used hibernacula to better protect the bats; (5) Quantification of the conservation value of these tunnels to bat conservation in Ohio, along with an assessment of the efficacy of such management as a mitigation practice; (6) Inventory of tunnels that serve as suitable hibernacula; and (7) Matrix indicating prioritization of which tunnels to pursue for future enhancement.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $276332
  • Contract Numbers:




  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Ohio Department of Transportation

    Research Program
    1980 West Broad Street
    Columbus, OH  United States  43223
  • Project Managers:

    Nye, Kelly

  • Performing Organizations:

    Ohio University, Athens

    Athens, OH  United States  45701
  • Principal Investigators:

    Johnson, Joseph

  • Start Date: 20200713
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240713
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01744842
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 34884, 136130, 111454
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 10 2020 2:05PM