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To return to the Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference website, go to http://www.midwestfw.org/ The following schedule and room names are subject to change (as of February 1, 2017). Please check back for updates. 

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Wednesday, February 8 • 8:40am - 9:00am
Technical Session. Roosting Habits of the Eastern Small-footed Bat in the Shawnee National Forest, Illinois

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AUTHORS: Kristi A. Confortin, Timothy C. Carter - Ball State University

ABSTRACT: The Eastern small-footed bat (Myotis leibii) primarily uses upland habitats. Within this habitat the bats use rocky outcrops with loose rocks as roosts. The spread of the bat disease White-Nose Syndrome has made it more crucial to understand the species distribution across the landscape. In 2005 a population of this species was discovered in in Illinois on the Shawnee National Forest. Over the last few years limited research has been done to document the presence and basic roosting habits for this population. Because of its limited distribution and perceived low numbers, the Eastern small-footed bat was added to the Illinois Threatened Species List in spring 2015. To guide future management decisions, the US Forest Service needs a better understanding of the summer roosting ecology and how it might be impacted by those decisions. During the summer of 2015 and 2016 we examined the roosting habits, 21 females and 21 males were fitted with radio transmitters and tracked to their day roosts. Seventy of the 96 roosts were located under loose rocks. Characteristics were recorded for all of these roost rocks. Our research shows bat occupancy will increase with the width of rock, a larger area of dryness under the rock and higher percentage of vegetation around the roost rock. Bat occupancy will decrease when percent area under the rock is covered with debris. Results also show that Eastern small-footed bats use a diversity of roosts beyond loose rocks. This species also made use of rock cervices, cliff bluffs, and man-made structures as their day roosts. The proportion of time each roost was used differed by roost type. We were also able to document the differences in daily travel distances between roost types and genders.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 8:40am - 9:00am
Arbor I/II

Attendees (8)