3.2 Sugarloaf Key bat tower

The Sugarloaf Key Bat Tower in Florida is also known as the Perky Bat Tower. Richter Clyde Perky was a project developer in the US in the beginning of the last century. He was looking for a way to make his investment in a fish lodge resort in the Sugarloaf Key profitable. The many mosquitoes in the Florida Keys were a problem: they prevented fishermen from using the lodges. Bats are excellent mosquito hunters, so in 1929, Perky purchased the plans from Charles Campbell, a pioneer in bat research. ‘“Can bats like bees be colonized and made to multiply where we want them?” he wondered. “This would be no feat at all! … Don’t they just live in any old ramshackle building? They would be only too glad to have a little home such as we provide for our song birds…”’ Fourteen ‘Hygiostatic Bat Roosts’ were built in accordance with Campbell’s ideas, with varying degrees of success. Today, three of them are left, one of which, after an internal reconstruction, actually houses bats. The 10-metre high Perky Bat Tower has never worked, but was declared a monument anyway. An osprey did eventually settle in the top of the building. A resident at last.

-Monroe County, Florida Keys (US) 1929

-Charles Campbell more info: history Perky Bat Tower