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1 May 2007 Urban Maternity-Roost Selection by Big Brown Bats in Colorado
DANIEL J. NEUBAUM, KENNETH R. WILSON, THOMAS J. O'SHEA
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Abstract

Despite prevalent use of anthropogenic structures by bats and the associated implications for public health, management, and bat conservation, very little quantitative information exists about urban roost characteristics and their selection by bats. During the summers of 2001 to 2004 we conducted fieldwork in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA, situated on the northern end of Colorado's Front Range, to address questions of roost selection by the big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus). The city has experienced its greatest growth in the past half century, with its population increasing by 30% in the last decade. Similar growth in new buildings has occurred, with the number of new housing permits issued annually doubling in the past decade. We located 142 roosts using radiotelemetry or by citizen calls in response to a newspaper article and flyers. To determine characteristics of roost selectivity by bats, we compared variables for known maternity roosts and randomly selected buildings at microhabitat and landscape scales using logistic regression; we used an information theoretic approach to determine which variables were most important. We considered 44 and 100 buildings in the microhabitat and landscape scale analyses, respectively. At the microhabitat scale maternity roosts had exit points with larger areas that were higher from the ground and had warmer average temperatures than randomly selected buildings. At the landscape scale distances to similarly categorized roosts were smaller, and urbanization variables such as lower building density, higher street density, and lower traffic count density were most important. Results for variables important to urban-roosting big brown bats were often analogous to studies that characterized maternity roosts found in tree snags and rock crevices. In addition, changes in the landscape, not only in the form of anthropogenic structures but also in water availability and vegetation structure such as riparian forests, may have led to population increases and range expansions of the big brown bat. Because big brown bats appear to selectively choose specific combinations of characteristics found at maternity roosts, not all available structures can be considered suitable and exclusion from established maternity roosts may negatively impact bat populations.

DANIEL J. NEUBAUM, KENNETH R. WILSON, and THOMAS J. O'SHEA "Urban Maternity-Roost Selection by Big Brown Bats in Colorado," Journal of Wildlife Management 71(3), 728-736, (1 May 2007). https://doi.org/10.2193/2005-684
Published: 1 May 2007
JOURNAL ARTICLE
9 PAGES

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