Blood was collected from wild big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) with and without anesthesia in Fort Collins, Colorado in 2004 to assess the impacts of these procedures on short-term survival and 1-yr return rates. Short-term survival and 1-yr return rates after release were passively monitored using PIT tag detection hoops placed at selected buildings. Comparison of 14-day maximum likelihood survival estimates from bats not bled (142 adult females, 62 volant juveniles), and bats sampled for blood with anesthesia (96 adult females, 23 volant juveniles) and without anesthesia (112 adult females, 22 volant juveniles) indicated no adverse effects of either treatment (juveniles: χ2=53.38, df=41, P=0.09; adults: χ2=39.09, df=44, P=0.68). Return rates of bats one year after sampling were similar among adult female controls (75.4%, n=142, 95% CI=67.4– 82.2%), females sampled for blood with anesthesia (83.0%, n=112, 95% CI=74.8–89.5%), and females sampled without anesthesia (87.5%, n=96, 95% CI=79.2–93.4%). Lack of an effect was also noted in 1-yr return rates of juvenile females. These data suggest that the use of anesthesia during sampling of blood has no advantages in terms of enhancement of survival in big brown bats.
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Vol. 42 • No. 4