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Tuesday, January 26 • 3:20pm - 3:40pm
Indiana Bat Myotis Sodalis Maternity Colony Roost Site Habitat Selection In Bottomland Hardwood Forests

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AUTHORS: Jacquelyn A. Dearborn*, University of Missouri Department of Fisheries and Wildlife; Elisabeth Webb, Missouri Cooperative Fisheries and Wildlife Research Unit at University of Missouri; Sybill Amelon, United States Forest Service at University of Missouri; Shauna Marquardt, United States Fish and Wildlife Service Missouri Ecological Services Field Office

ABSTRACT: Historically, bottomland hardwood forests encompassed much of the south-central United States, but within the last century there has been a 96% loss of these forest ecosystems. Many tree species found in bottomland hardwood ecosystems are used by Indiana bats as roosting sites, however, resource selection by bats can vary depending on geographic location and habitat type. With nearly half of the range-wide population hibernating in Missouri and Illinois, it is important to gain information on how Indiana bats utilize some of the remaining bottomland hardwood ecosystems found in southern areas of those states. Maternity colony habitat use in particular is important to examine, since the viability and productivity of maternity colonies are essential in contributing to population growth of this federally endangered species. We captured and used radio-telemetry to track Indiana bats at Cypress Creek and Mingo National Wildlife Refuges during summer 2015. We tracked 11 female Indiana bats to 16 distinct roost locations, 7 of which were telephone poles with artificial bark that refuge biologists had placed on the landscape. Four available trees were selected for each used roost tree (N=60) and habitat covariates were measured at both used and available trees. To evaluate roost site habitat selection, we compared habitat characteristics at used and available roost locations with logistic regression models and ranked model performance using AICc weight. At Cypress Creek, the top model for roost tree selection included tree species and tree height, whereas at Mingo, the top model included percentage of exfoliating bark and percent canopy cover. Our results indicate differences in roost site habitat selection parameters between the two refuges. Due to strong selection for artificial trees at Cypress Creek (an option not present at Mingo), habitat selection differences may have management implications for Indiana bat habitat restoration in bottomland hardwood ecosystems.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 3:20pm - 3:40pm EST
Vandenberg B