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2 December 2014 Diversity and Distribution of Bats in the Northwest Territories
Joanna M Wilson
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The occurrence of bats at the northern limit of their ranges in the Northwest Territories (NT), Canada, is not well documented. We provide information on the diversity and distribution of bat species in the NT by synthesizing available records. Before 2006, only 3 species of bats were known to occur in the NT: Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus), Northern Myotis (M. septentrionalis), and Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus). Focused bat surveys as well as observations of bats reported by residents have added Long-eared Myotis (M. evotis), Long-legged Myotis (M. volans), Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus), and Silver-haired Bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans), for a total of 7 confirmed species, plus an additional species that is unconfirmed but suspected to occur (Eastern Red Bat, Lasiurus borealis). Range extensions for Little Brown Myotis, Hoary Bat, and Silver-haired Bat are reported. Both Little Brown Myotis and Northern Myotis are reproducing in the NT and are likely abundant in southern NT. Little Brown Myotis has been confirmed to overwinter in the NT and the northern limit of bat hibernation may be further north than previously supposed. Bats are widespread in the southern Central Plains region and gaps in occurrences likely reflect gaps in search effort. Nahanni National Park Reserve has high bat diversity and other parts of southwestern NT are suspected to have similarly high diversity, but have not yet been surveyed. There is evidence that the Eastern Shield region supports bats at relatively low densities. The northern distribution limit of bats in the NT is not known but is expected to occur in the Mackenzie Valley north of 62°N.

Joanna M Wilson "Diversity and Distribution of Bats in the Northwest Territories," Northwestern Naturalist 95(3), 197-218, (2 December 2014).
Received: 27 May 2013; Accepted: 7 August 2014; Published: 2 December 2014
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