Architects Design Homes for Bats

June 21, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. architect (n.) 
[ahr-ki-tekt] – a person who designs and supervises the construction of a building
Example: The famous architect designed the highest building in the city.

2. disperse (v.) [dih-spurs] – to scatter or distribute in different directions
Example: The farmer dispersed the seeds on the ground.

3. destruction (n.) [dih-struhk-shuhn] – the act of damaging something
Example: Human activities such as mining and logging are the main causes of forest destruction.

4. roost (n.) [roost] – a resting place for birds or other flying animals
Example: People must not damage trees in the forest as these serve as roost for birds.

5. lodge (v.) [loj] – to live or stay in a place
Example: Bats lodge in dark and warm places.

Read the text below.
Last month, architects gathered in Oxford, England for a new course that will help them design and construct suitable homes for bats.

The three-hour course given by the Royal Institute of British Architects in cooperation with the Bat Conservation Trust could help solve the bat habitat issues in UK because architects learned about the ideal design of a house for bat roosts

Bats are important part of our environment because they control the number of insects and they help in plant reproduction by dispersing seeds for pollination. Sadly, they are slowly becoming endangered in North America because of a fungal disease called White Nose Syndrome, which has already killed about 5.5 million bats.

In UK, there are no cases of the fungal disease yet, but the destruction of the bats’ homes is a major threat.

To protect bats and their roosts, lawmakers imposed penalties to those who will disturb bat habitats.

Some species of bats have already adapted to urban areas because of the destruction of their natural habitats such as trees and caves. These species use building roofs as maternity roosts.

Bat population is greatly affected if there are reconstructions in the buildings where they lodge because they do not give birth every year and can only produce one young per year.

Roof materials such as insulating textile, which is commonly used in modern houses and solar panels can also harm bats.

As a result, architects and bat conservationists decided to build alternative homes for bats. The design is a big challenge since different species have varying space requirements and bat habitats must maintain the darkness and warmth they need.

However, there is no guarantee that this solution will work since some bats do not use the homes created for them and if they do, they won’t use it for long.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Which do you think is better, to spend in building artificial homes for animals, or to spend for conserving their natural habitats?
·         What do you think can other people do to help solve habitat problems of animals?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think it is important to attend to the needs of animals?
·         How do you give importance to animals?


June 21, 2012