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Tuesday, January 26 • 3:40pm - 4:00pm
Implications of Western Range Expansions of Eastern Bat Species In The United States

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AUTHORS: Brett Andersen*, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Keith Geluso, University of Nebraska at Kearney

ABSTRACT: The Great Plains once served as a buffer creating a division between many eastern and western woodland species. However, expansion of riparian corridors along these prairie waterways has enabled a broad assortment of eastern deciduous mammals to expand their distributional range westward. Several eastern bat species, including the tricolored bat Perimyotis subflavus, eastern red bat Lasiurus borealis, and evening bat Nycticeius humeralis, have now been captured much farther west than previously recorded. Although such captures may be anomalies, some evidence points toward the possibility of significant range extensions for these species with continued existence beyond the Great Plains. The existence of such species in previously undocumented areas should encourage researchers to factor in the possible occurrence of eastern bat species to reduce the likelihood of misidentification. Adding a cohort of eastern species to western North American classification systems needs to be considered to aid in the identification of species potentially occurring outside of their historic ranges and facilitate the continued evaluation of these species’ westward expansion.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 3:40pm - 4:00pm EST
Vandenberg B