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1 May 2009 Evening Bat Summer Roost-Site Selection on a Managed Pine Landscape
Cris D. Hein, Karl V. Miller, Steven B. Castleberry
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Creation and maintenance of forested corridors to increase landscape heterogeneity has been practiced for decades but is a new concept in intensively managed southern pine (Pinus spp.) forests. Additionally, more information is needed on bat ecology within such forest systems. Therefore, we examined summer roost-site selection by evening bats (Nycticeius humeralis) in an intensively managed landscape with forested corridors in southeastern South Carolina, USA, 2003–2006. We radiotracked 53 (26 M, 27 F) adult evening bats to 75 (31 M, 44 F) diurnal roosts. We modeled landscape-level roost-site selection with logistic regression and evaluated models using Akaike's Information Criterion for small samples. Model selection results indicated that mature (≥40 yr) mixed pine–hardwood stands were important roost sites for male and lactating female evening bats. Upland forested corridors, comprised of mature pine or mixed pine–hardwoods, were important roosting habitats for males and, to a lesser extent, lactating females. Male roosts were farther from open stands and lactating female roosts were farther from mid-rotation stands than randomly selected structures. Our results suggest roost structures (i.e., large trees and snags) in mature forests are important habitat components for evening bats. We recommend maintaining older (>40 yr old) stand conditions in the form of forest stands or corridors across managed landscapes to provide roosting habitat. Furthermore, our results suggest that an understanding of sex-specific roost-site selection is critical for developing comprehensive guidelines for creating and maintaining habitat features beneficial to forest bats.

Cris D. Hein, Karl V. Miller, and Steven B. Castleberry "Evening Bat Summer Roost-Site Selection on a Managed Pine Landscape," Journal of Wildlife Management 73(4), 511-517, (1 May 2009).
Published: 1 May 2009