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Wednesday, February 8 • 9:00am - 9:20am
Technical Session. Estimating the Summer Distribution of a Threatened Bat Species in Nebraska

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AUTHORS: Zachary A. Warren, Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Craig R. Allen, U.S. Geological Survey; Michael D. Whitby, Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

ABSTRACT: Declines in North American bat populations due to the devastating impacts of white-nose syndrome have warranted protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. In order to develop informed management strategies for these species, information is needed on their distribution and habitat use. To help fill this information gap, we conducted a state-wide acoustic survey for the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis; MYSE) during the summer of 2015.  Using a Generalized Random Tesselation Stratified (GRTS) approach, we selected 101 10 km x 10 km grids throughout Nebraska to acoustically survey. Within each grid, four (4) bat detectors were deployed within suitable habitat for a minimum of six (6) recording nights. Recorded call sequences were offloaded and analyzed to the species level using autoclassification software. Presence/non-detection results were then combined with broad scale habitat variables to generate a species distribution model for MYSE summer range in Nebraska. This predictive model can be used by managers to focus conservation efforts within the state as well as to better understand the effects of management actions. In addition to a better understanding of distribution, we will present the lessons learned from implementing a species-specific statewide survey protocol.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 9:00am - 9:20am CST
Arbor I/II