Thanks for your responses! We’re looking for even more in 2014!

The results are in….

Bats Use Pools!

Data from the first run of the survey in 2013 indicates that bats are using swimming pools across much of the United States.

2013 response distribution

From 314 responses, we found that bats were observed at 78% of pools. There was no obvious relationship with summer temperatures, so it seems you are just as apt to see a bat at your pool in Maine as in Arizona. Luckily, we found that bat mortality at pools seems to be much less common. Of those 314 responses, 33 indicated that they’d seen a dead bat in their pool. There may be some relationship between bat mortality and obstructions around pools, but we definitely need to collect more data to make a definitive statement about the effects of obstructions. We are hoping to gather data from at least 700 more pool owners and managers this year. We need your help to reach this goal! Please take the survey at the link below. If you know other pool owners, please feel free to share this link.

Informed Consent

If you are interested in learning more about the first year of the study, you can watch Zach giving a talk at the 2014 meeting of the Midwest Bat Working Group. This 15 minute presentation goes into much more detail about the results of our analyses.


If you have any questions about the survey, or would like to assist in distributing the survey to people you know, please click here for contact information.




What kinds of bats use swimming pools?

During the course of our research, we’ve learned that red bats are a common visitor to swimming pools. One respondent told us his family had a regular red bat visitor who didn’t mind their presence in the pool. The bat became agitated at the presence of strangers, however!

Three months in, we have about 300 responses on the survey. We’d like to gather more data to get a better understanding of how bats are using pools. Please take the survey if you own, use, or manage a swimming pool on a regular basis. You can find out more about why these data are important in this recent article.

To take the survey, click here.

See also this information on informed consent.


One month in!

We are one month in to the Bats and Pools Survey! Thank you to all who have participated and to all first time visitors to the site! Whether you observe bats and other wildlife at your pool or not, if you own, use or maintain a pool on a regular basis, your responses are valuable to our research.

If you are a first time visitor, CLICK HERE to be linked to the survey page.

Any help in distribution will be very much appreciated by the Center of Bat Research, Outreach, and Conservation. Please feel free to distribute this message and web address to listservs or other contacts in North America. We are interested in gathering data from a diverse array of pool users. Thanks again for your time and participation!

Bats and Pools Survey

You are being invited to participate in a research study designed to gain a better understanding of how bats use swimming pools across North America. This study is being conducted by Zachary Nickerson and Dr. Joy O’Keefe, from the Center for Bat Research, Outreach, and Conservation in the Department of Biology at Indiana State University. This study is part of an undergraduate research project, and the first phase was funded by the ISU Center for Student Research and Creativity. This survey is being distributed across the United States and Canada, and the targeted respondents are pool owners or those who use or maintain pools on a regular basis.

Most North American bats are small, active at night, and difficult to observe, so we have very little information on how bats interact with their environment. Anecdotal reports suggest bats use swimming pools for drinking, perhaps especially in areas where natural water sources are scarce. If you own, use, or manage a pool on a regular basis, you could provide valuable information regarding bats using swimming pools as water sources. This survey is completely voluntary and is only meant to be taken once per person. Whether or not you observe bats around your pool, your responses are still valuable to us. Please feel free to tell others about this survey as well. The survey will be available from May 15th through December 31st, 2013.

The Center for Bat Research, Outreach, and Conservation is asking for your help in understanding how bats use swimming pools across North America. To participate in this survey, please click on the link below. Please take a minute to read the informed consent statement, which explains how the results will be gathered and kept. Thank you for your time and participation.

Informed Consent

If you have any questions about the survey, or would like to assist in distributing the survey to people you know, please click here for contact information.