Roost site selection by Indiana bats (Myotis sodalis) and comparison of foraging habitat selection by morphologically similar bat species in bottomland hardwood ecosystems
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] While bottomland hardwoods used to encompass a large portion of the south-central United States, due to clear cutting for agriculture and other purposes, the amount of bottomland hardwoods present has been reduced by almost 88 percent from its previous extent. At the same time, bat surveys in the Midwest after the arrival of white-nose syndrome (WNS) have shown declines in populations of Indiana bats (Myotis sodalis), northern long-eared bats (Myotis septentrionalis), little brown bats (Myotis lucifigus), and tri-colored bats (Perimyotis subflavus). Due to these threats to bat populations, it is important to gain information on how various bat species in the Midwest United States utilize the landscape within bottomland hardwood ecosystems in order to inform conservation efforts. There were two main objectives to this study. First, we sought to determine which roost site characteristics influence selection of a roost location by individuals in maternity colonies of Indiana bats. Second, we wanted to evaluate which habitat characteristics influenced occupancy of morphologically similar species within bottomland hardwood ecosystems in the Midwest United States: Myotis species, tri-colored bats, and evening bats (Nycticeius humeralis).
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