Publication Details

Nightly and yearly bat activity before and after white-nose syndrome on the Fernow Experimental Forest in West Virginia

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Johnson, Joshua B.; Rodrigue, Jane L.; Ford, W. Mark

Year Published

2013

Publication

Res. Pap. NRS-24. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 17 p.

Abstract

In the central Appalachians, conservation concern about bat communities and their population status has become increasingly more significant with the advent and spread of white-nose syndrome (WNS). However, managers often are hampered in their response to WNS by the lack of information on pre-WNS local distribution, abundance, or activity patterns for most bat species. At the Fernow Experimental Forest (FEF), Tucker County, WV, where bat research has been conducted since the mid-1990s, we acoustically monitored bat activity a total of 20 nights each at four sites for 4 years—3 years before and 1 year after WNS was detected—to better assess those local patterns. Within sampling nights, activity of northern myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) and big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) peaked directly after sunset and declined throughout the night, whereas activity of little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus) and Indiana myotis (Myotis sodalis) had a unimodal distribution that peaked in the middle of the night. Activity of many bat species differed among sample sites and was highest at a small, artificial pond located on a dry ridgetop. Activity of little brown myotis, northern myotis, and Indiana myotis was lower post-WNS than pre-WNS, consistent with the species' precipitous declines previously reported in WNS-affected areas in the Northeast and upper portions of the Mid-Atlantic.

Keywords

Anabat; Geomyces destructans; bats; foraging; riparian

Citation

Johnson, Joshua B.; Rodrigue, Jane L.; Ford, W. Mark. 2013. Nightly and yearly bat activity before and after white-nose syndrome on the Fernow Experimental Forest in West Virginia. Res. Pap. NRS-24. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 17 p. https://doi.org/10.2737/NRS-RP-24.

Last updated on: September 30, 2013