Extensive effort has been directed at the roosting ecology of the federally endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) during the maternity season; however, spring roosting ecology has received much less attention. In April 2002, radio transmitters were attached to the back of 19 female Indiana bats as they emerged from a hibernaculum in northeastern New York. Thirty-nine roost trees were found in the vicinity of the Lake Champlain Valley of New York and Vermont over the span of 224 bat days (i.e., 1 bat located for 1 d equals 1 bat day). Distances from hibernaculum to roost trees ranged from 14.6 to 40.0 km (mean = 26.9 km). Shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) was the most common (33.3% of all trees, 39.7% of all bat days) of 11 tree species used. Roost trees had a mean diameter of 45.6 cm, were 18.9 m tall and were similar in structure to those used during summer by Indiana bats elsewhere in their range. This study provides the first large-scale examination of trees used by female Indiana bats after spring emergence, supplying critical life history information useful for the conservation of this species.
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Vol. 155 • No. 1