Roosting and foraging habitat of the Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) at multiple scales.
Watrous, Kristen*,1, Donovan, Therese1, Darling, Scott2, Hicks, Alan3, Von Oettingen, Susana4, 1 U.S. Geloogical Survey, Burlington, VT, USA2 Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, Rutland, VT, USA3 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY, USA4 United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Concord, NH, USA
ABSTRACT- The Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) was placed on the federal Endangered Species List in 1967. Most research on this species has focused on the characteristics of hibernacula and summer roosting habitat in the center of its range. Little is known about Indiana bat habitat in the Northeast, particularly habitat requirements of bats during the summer when offspring are being reared. We studied habitat characteristics associated with this species at three spatial scales: the roost tree, the stand, and the home range. Twenty-four pregnant females were captured in mist nets, outfitted with radio transmitters, and monitored during nighttime foraging activities for three to seven days. Roost trees were located each day by following the transmitter signal, and foraging locations were determined using triangulation. Fixed kernel home range sizes estimated from these telemetry positions averaged 2.87 km2. In total, we located 50 roost trees, predominately shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), although 10 other species were also used. Roost trees had a mean dbh of 48.5 cm (sd = 20.4), while the average dbh of trees within 0.1 ha of roost trees was 22.9 cm (sd = 4.5). Most bats foraged over agricultural fields and wetlands in low elevations, and selected large dbh roost trees within nearby forest fragments.
Key words: Myotis sodalis, roosting, foraging, habitat
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