Thinking Inside the Box!

Short description

Establishing novel habitats for bugs, bats and birds through installing ‘bio-boxes’ on campus, to enhance and support local wildlife populations.

Long description

This project aims to enhance biodiversity by installing habitat-provisioning boxes to support wildlife from multiple trophic levels across campus. In recent times, there have been increased insect populations associated with recently-established wildflower meadows on campus, as well as records of bats visiting these areas to feed. Recent sightings of hawks on campus also suggest that the campus grounds may be a valuable hunting and nesting resource for raptors. As such, we believe that we can turn these transient visits into permanent homes for insects, bats and raptors, by providing biodiversity boxes that establish valuable habitats and attract these animals to the area to nest, roost and breed. To ensure these ‘bio-boxes’ provide the most effective and ecologically-relevant habitat as possible, the team will consult with experts in the relevant fields of Zoology at Trinity College to ensure the boxes are of the most appropriate design, material and location to maximise colonisation. Furthermore, integral to this project is the complementary nature of these target animals, which may enhance the likelihood of establishing communities on campus, as insects, bats and raptors are inherently interconnected on the food web. In addition to providing much-needed habitat, these bio-boxes are an effective tool to raise public awareness on local wildlife and educate the wider need to address biodiversity decline through conservation. The bio-boxes will be placed on walls, posts and tree trunks so that they are visible on public walkways, while maintaining their primary function as ecological habitat, with the opportunity to install camera traps for education. We will host workshops to demonstrate how to correctly make and install insect, bat and bird boxes, and invite speakers from key Irish conservation groups (e.g. All Ireland Pollinator Plan, Bat Conservation Ireland and Birdwatch Ireland) to share their knowledge and engage the college community in biodiversity conservation.

Scope of the project

The project primarily aims to install the bio-boxes at the main Trinity College city campus, across different locations on the grounds, and will involve box-making workshops and talks to further engage and involve the wider college community in conserving the biodiversity on our campus.


The total budget we request for this mini-project is €600, to cover the purchasing of materials and installation of the bio-boxes on campus. This would cover the costs of purchasing materials for 10 large insect hotels (€20 each), 10 bat boxes (€20 each), 6 raptor breeding boxes (€25 each), installation costs (€30 max) and bio-box workshop facilitation (€20 max).

How do you envisage dealing with COVID-19 restrictions?

While COVID-19 restrictions can pose logistical constraints, the project remains flexible and can be easily adapted depending on what is possible under public health guidelines. We can overcome these through ordering materials for the boxes online, public outreach can be moved to online events and the installation of the boxes can be organised according to the safest times suitable.


Trinity College Dublin

Target audience

  • Students
  • Academic staff members
  • Non-academic staff members

Expected date to be completed


Team Leader Information

Name: Tallulah Davey
Faculty/Department: Zoology
Position: Academic staff member
Number of members of this group: 3

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