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Wednesday, February 8 • 8:20am - 8:40am
Technical Session. Nightly Summer Activity Patterns of the Northern Long-eared Bat

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AUTHORS: Catherine M. Berrick, University of Nebraska -Lincoln; Zachary A. Warren, Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska; Craig R. Allen, U.S. Geological Survey, Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska

ABSTRACT: Bats, though clandestine, are important parts of many ecosystems and are particularly important to the agricultural industry. Bats save farmers billions of dollars annually by consuming agricultural pests such as moths and beetles. However, northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) populations have been in precipitous decline due to a rapidly-spreading fungus that causes White Nose Syndrome (WNS) prompting the USFWS to list the species as threatened. In previous studies, researchers have had resource constraints that did not allow for intensive simultaneous surveys. Past studies involved relocating a limited number of detectors within a study site. It is difficult to infer if activity is shifting temporally or spatially when a small number of detectors are being deployed in this manner. During the summer of 2016, we deployed acoustic bat detectors to record bat echolocations at 230 forested sites across Nebraska. The deployments occurred at 5 distinct areas where 46 detectors simultaneously recorded for a minimum five consecutive nights. A recording night was considered a single detector recording from 30 minutes prior to sunset to 30 minutes after sunrise. In total, we recorded 1554 recording nights. Recordings were classified to species using autoclassification software. By normalizing the activity for all of our recording units across all sites and combining the temporal activity levels, we were able to determine nightly bat activity periods. With this new information, biologists will be better equipped for future studies with an understanding of nightly habitat use of the Northern Long-eared bat as well as the benefits of using multiple detectors over a structurally diverse study site. This study also provides insight into the trapping duration requirements of survey protocols.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 8:20am - 8:40am CST
Arbor I/II