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Improved analysis of long-term monitoring data demonstrates marked regional declines of bat populations in the eastern United States

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Ingersoll, Thomas E.; Sewall, Brent J.; Amelon, Sybill K.

Year Published

2013

Publication

PLoS ONE. 8(6): e65907.

Abstract

Bats are diverse and ecologically important, but are also subject to a suite of severe threats. Evidence for localized bat mortality from these threats is well-documented in some cases, but long-term changes in regional populations of bats remain poorly understood. Bat hibernation surveys provide an opportunity to improve understanding, but analysis is complicated by bats' cryptic nature, non-conformity of count data to assumptions of traditional statistical methods, and observation heterogeneities such as variation in survey timing. We used generalized additive mixed models (GAMMs) to account for these complicating factors and to evaluate long-term, regional population trajectories of bats. We focused on four hibernating bat species -- little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus), tri-colored bat (Perimyotis subflavus), Indiana myotis (M. sodalis), and northern myotis (M. septentrionalis) -- in a four-state region of the eastern United States during 1999-2011.

Citation

Ingersoll, Thomas E.; Sewall, Brent J.; Amelon, Sybill K. 2013. Improved analysis of long-term monitoring data demonstrates marked regional declines of bat populations in the eastern United States. PLoS ONE. 8(6): e65907. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0065907.

Last updated on: August 21, 2013