Forest managers are increasingly expected to incorporate biodiversity objectives within forest landscapes devoted to timber production. However, reliable data on which to base management recommendations for bats within these systems are extremely limited. Although the red bat (Lasiurus borealis) is a widespread common species in temperate forests of North America, little is known of its ecology within intensively managed pine (Pinus spp.) forests of the southeastern United States. Therefore, we investigated size of foraging areas and habitat use by red bats during summer 2000 and 2001 in an intensively managed pine landscape in east-central Mississippi, USA. We captured bats using four-tier mist nets placed over water and attached radiotransmitters to red bats. Radiotagged red bats (n = 16) used habitat types randomly at the study area and foraging area scale. Mean size of foraging areas and mean maximum distance traveled between diurnal roosts and foraging locations were not different (P < 0.05) among adult male, adult female, juvenile male or juvenile females (n = 18). Most foraging areas contained a reliable source of water and all but one diurnal roost was located within foraging areas. Location of diurnal roosts may dictate location of foraging areas. Open canopy conditions in intensively managed pine stands (young, open canopy stands, thinned stands and riparian hardwood stands) likely provide appropriate foraging habitat for red bats. Landscape context may influence size of foraging areas and commuting distances of red bats. Provision of appropriate aged forest stands for diurnal roosts may be the best management action for red bats within intensively managed pine landscapes.
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Vol. 153 • No. 2