Indiana bats (Myotis sodalis) in Illinois: Roost trees to landscapes.
Carter, Timothy*,1, 1 Department of Zoology, Carbondale, Illinois, USA
ABSTRACT- The endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) required very specific habitats to provide necessary day-roosting and foraging resources during the spring and summer months throughout its distribution in the eastern United States. Maternity colonies of Indiana bats are almost always found under the exfoliating bark of dead or dying trees. Furthermore, they switch frequently between multiple roosts within large but still somewhat "local" areas. Therefore, habitats with large numbers of snags or decadent trees are needed to support Indiana bat maternity colonies. These habitats arise naturally and anthropogenically in a variety of ways and are found throughout the landscape, although they often are relatively rare relative to other forest conditions. In the Midwest, such as southern and central Illinois, maternity colonies are more commonly associated with bottomland and riparian forest types. Still, it is unclear if this is because areas with large numbers of snags are more common in bottomland and riparian habitats or if maternity colonies prefer these habitats for other resource-related reasons, or if two centuries of human landuse has restricted them to these vegetational communities. Because many large maternity colonies have been located in bottomland or riparian habitats, I suspect these are the perferred maternity habitats. Moreover, few large maternity colonies have been located in upland type habitats within the mid-west portion of the species range. Elsewhere, maternity colonies have been located in upland areas where bottomland types are less extensive, however, the colonies are usually small and seldom persist more than a season or two.
Key words: Indiana Bats, Myotis sodalis, Habitat Use, Landscape patterns
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