We studied 7 urban roosts occupied by Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) in downtown Waco, Texas, from August 2001 to September 2002. We examined frequency of roost use, colony sizes, and roost fidelity in relation to gender. Use of roosts and colony sizes were highest in the fall and lowest in the winter, but fluctuated widely during the study. These roosts were not used by maternity colonies, and patterns of occupancy suggested that they served as stopover sites during migratory seasons. Individual bats exhibited high fidelity to discrete roosts included in the study. However, the bats commonly left the study area, suggesting that populations are defined at greater spatial scales than we included in this study. Male bats were recaptured more often and spent more days in the study area than female bats, suggesting a sexual difference in roosting behavior.
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Vol. 67 • No. 3