Knowledge and understanding of bat activity and habitat associations are important for effective conservation and management, especially in landscapes undergoing land use changes. Dasypterus intermedius (northern yellow bat), a broadly distributed species in the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States, is a species of conservation concern due to habitat loss. We examined the influence of landscape factors on D. intermedius activity on Little Saint Simons Island (LSSI), Georgia, USA, an Atlantic barrier island characterized by a limited human disturbance history. From April to October 2013, we recorded a total of 6,921 D. intermedius passes and 138 feeding buzzes among six land cover types across three biologically relevant seasons. We used GLMMs to model total and foraging activity using landscape variables and season as covariates. We found no significant differences in total activity among cover types, but observed a clear pattern of greater activity in cover types with low vegetation clutter. We observed significantly greater total activity later in the year after juveniles became volant and were able to forage on their own. Based on feeding buzzes, our results demonstrated greater foraging activity in maritime grasslands than in the oak and pine cover types. Distance to water, edge, and roosting habitat had little influence on total or foraging activity. Our results provide baseline information regarding D. intermedius habitat use from a relatively undisturbed coastal environment that can aid management decisions when considering bats in landscapes experiencing changes from development.
Vol. 24 • No. 2
Vol. 24 • No. 2