Eastern red bats (Lasiurus borealis) have been found to overwinter in areas that can experience severe fluctuations in temperature. We examined the red bat's use of winter roosts in southwest Missouri, USA, for 2 winters (2003–2005). We found tree roosts in eastern red cedars (Juniperus virginiana) and hardwoods. Tree roost sites were located on the south side of trees, and we found roost trees on south-facing slopes. Roost sites occurred more frequently in the location with least canopy cover. Bats switched from tree roosts to leaf litter roosts when ambient temperatures approached or fell below freezing. We found habitat characteristics and aspect to be determining factors in the selection of leaf litter roosts. Management of overwintering red bats requires a diverse forest structure, including canopy gaps, stand-density variation, and leaf-bearing trees, including oaks (Quercus spp.).
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Vol. 71 • No. 1