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We determined the bat fauna at Mesa Verde National Park (Mesa Verde) in 2006 and 2007, characterized bat elevational distribution and reproduction, and investigated roosting habits of selected species. We captured 1996 bats of 15 species in mist nets set over water during 120 nights of sampling and recorded echolocation calls of an additional species. The bat fauna at Mesa Verde included every species of bat known west of the Great Plains in Colorado, except the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus). Some species showed skewed sex ratios, primarily due to a preponderance of males. Thirteen species of bats reproduced at Mesa Verde. Major differences in spring precipitation between the 2 years of our study were associated with differences in reproductive rates and, in some species, with numbers of juveniles captured. Reduced reproductive effort during spring drought will have a greater impact on bat populations with the forecasted increase in aridity in much of western North America by models of global climate change. We radiotracked 46 bats of 5 species to roosts and describe the first-known maternity colonies of spotted bats (Euderma maculatum) in Colorado. All 5 species that we tracked to diurnal roosts relied almost exclusively on rock crevices rather than trees or snags, despite the presence of mature forests at Mesa Verde and the use of trees for roosts in similar forests elsewhere by some of these species. Comparisons with past bat surveys at Mesa Verde and in surrounding areas suggest no dramatic evidence for effects of recent stand-replacing fires on the composition of the bat community.
The birds of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, in southern Utah and northern Arizona, are documented, with information on abundance, distribution, ecology, residency status, and breeding status. In all, 316 species have been reported from the park since the first surveys in the region during the 1930s. Historical survey data from the pre-Glen Canyon Dam surveys are incorporated, as well as significant work done in the park since 1992. Breeding is documented for 87 species, including 82 native species and 5 exotic species. Many rare species are reported for the first time from this section of the state, and several recent range extensions are documented.
The Fort Irwin National Training Center in the Mojave Desert of California contains soils that represent a diversity of disturbance regimes, including some soil sites that have been protected from anthropogenic disturbance for many years. Previous studies of the soils of this military installation discussed biogeography and ecology of the crusts but did not conduct detailed study of the species present. In this study, we selected 6 sites in and around the Fort Irwin Training Center to be the subject of intensive isolation efforts. These sites contained at least some development of microbiotic soil crust. Out of the more than 90 cyanobacterial isolates characterized, only 23 distinctive morphospecies were differentiated. Of these, only 13 were identified to a previously described species, the others being comparable to previously described aquatic species (cf.) or so dissimilar to described taxa that they were given numbers as identification. Leptolyngbya was the most species rich and also the most commonly isolated genus. Twelve filamentous genera were found; no coccoid representatives occurred in our samples. All taxa are described and illustrated. This study is significant as it is the first since the 1960s to examine cyanobacterial taxonomy of Mojave Desert soils in a systematic fashion. Our unidentified taxa are very likely new species but will require molecular sequence analysis before they can be named.