Event Title

Campus Woods Edges Help Bats on their Way to Winter Habitats

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Description

North American bat summer habitat conservation typically focuses on interior and riparian areas as federally and state listed species rely heavily on these habitats. Other habitats, such as forest edges, can be just as important for bat survival during summer months. From June-August in 2019 and 2020 we recorded bat calls at six locations throughout the campus woods. In these two years, the majority of acoustic data collected was from edge habitat sites compared to forest interiors and riparian areas. To investigate bat forest edge use by species and season, we subset these data for forest edge sites and created a generalized linear model for number of detections as a function of species identification and summer seasons (early/late). The number of bat detections along forest edges varied by species and summer season. The majority of bat species detected along campus woods edges (four of seven species) had greater detections in late summer than in early summer. Furthermore, three of the four species with greater detections in late summer compared to early summer were migratory bat species that migrate long distances to wintering habitats in fall. We suggest that the edge habitats of the campus woods are foraging hotspots for bats as they increase food intake to prepare for long-distance migrations. Thus, forest edges are important habitats for bats in late summer and should be considered in future conservation plans for the campus woods.

Simonis_Bahn_WoodsSymp_2020.srt (18 kB)
Simonis-Bahn-Transcript

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Simonis_Bahn_WoodsSymp_2020.srt (18 kB)
Simonis-Bahn-Transcript


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Campus Woods Edges Help Bats on their Way to Winter Habitats

North American bat summer habitat conservation typically focuses on interior and riparian areas as federally and state listed species rely heavily on these habitats. Other habitats, such as forest edges, can be just as important for bat survival during summer months. From June-August in 2019 and 2020 we recorded bat calls at six locations throughout the campus woods. In these two years, the majority of acoustic data collected was from edge habitat sites compared to forest interiors and riparian areas. To investigate bat forest edge use by species and season, we subset these data for forest edge sites and created a generalized linear model for number of detections as a function of species identification and summer seasons (early/late). The number of bat detections along forest edges varied by species and summer season. The majority of bat species detected along campus woods edges (four of seven species) had greater detections in late summer than in early summer. Furthermore, three of the four species with greater detections in late summer compared to early summer were migratory bat species that migrate long distances to wintering habitats in fall. We suggest that the edge habitats of the campus woods are foraging hotspots for bats as they increase food intake to prepare for long-distance migrations. Thus, forest edges are important habitats for bats in late summer and should be considered in future conservation plans for the campus woods.