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1 June 2016 Bat Occurrence and Habitat Preference on the Delmarva Peninsula
Andrew T. McGowan, Aaron S. Hogue
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White-nose syndrome (WNS) and wind-turbine facilities on the Delmarva Peninsula are emerging threats to the peninsula's current bat fauna. However, until our study, there had been no assessment of bat populations or their habitats in that region. The purpose of our research was to fill this gap by using 28 road-based transects and 24 passive-monitoring sites to acoustically monitor bats across the peninsula. In total, we recorded 4432 bat-call sequences and documented the presence of at least 6 species: Lasiurus borealis (Eastern Red Bat), Eptesicus fuscus (Big Brown Bat), Nycticeius humeralis (Evening Bat), L. cinereus (Hoary Bat), Perimyotis subflavus (Tri-colored Bat), 1 or more species in the genus Myotis, and potentially Lasionycteris noctivagans (Silver-haired Bat). Given the similarity in call structure between Silver-haired and Big Brown Bats, we cannot say with certainty the former were present. Eastern Red Bats, Evening Bats, and Hoary Bats were relatively widespread and abundant; Tri-colored Bat and Myotis were not. Of the species for which adequate sample sizes were available, all but the Hoary Bat (and possibly the Silver-haired Bat) showed strong preferences for forest edges, demonstrating the importance of these landscape features for maintaining healthy bat populations. Point-counts along road transects and stationary-monitoring sites yielded similar results, suggesting that road-based transects are a valuable tool for surveying bat populations across large geographic areas.

Andrew T. McGowan and Aaron S. Hogue "Bat Occurrence and Habitat Preference on the Delmarva Peninsula," Northeastern Naturalist 23(2), 259-276, (1 June 2016).
Published: 1 June 2016

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