Time filter

Source Type

Fort Drum, NY, United States

Coleman L.S.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Coleman L.S.,Circle Technology | Ford W.M.,U.S. Geological Survey | Dobony C.A.,Fort Drum Military Installation | Britzke E.R.,U.S. Army
Northeastern Naturalist | Year: 2015

With dramatic declines of bat populations due to mortality caused by Pseudogymnoascus destructans (White-nose Syndrome), assessing habitat preferences of bats in the northeastern US is now critical to guide the development of regional conservation efforts. In the summer of 2012, we conducted fixed-station simultaneous telemetry to determine nocturnal spatial use and fixed-kernel home-range estimates of available habitat of a Myotis lucifugus (Le Conte) (Little Brown Bat) maternity colony in an artificial bat house. In summers of 2011 and 2012, we also deployed a 52-ha grid of 4 × 4 Anabat acoustic detectors over five 6-8-day sampling periods in various riparian and non-riparian environments in close proximity to the same bat house. The mean telemetry home range of 143 ha for bats (n = 7) completely overlapped the acoustic grid. Rankings of habitats from telemetry data for these 7 bats and 5 additional bats not included in home-range calculations but added for habitat-use measures (n = 13) revealed a higher proportional use of forested riparian habitats than other types at the landscape scale. Pair-wise comparisons of habitats indicated that bats were found significantly closer to forested riparian habitats and forests than to open water, developed areas, fields, shrublands, or wetland habitats at the landscape scale. Acoustic sampling showed that naïve occupancy was 0.8 and 0.6 and mean nightly detection probabilities were 0.23 and 0.08 at riparian and non-riparian sites, respectively. Our findings suggest that Little Brown Bats select forested riparian and forested habitats for foraging at the landscape scale but may be most easily detected acoustically at riparian sites when a simple occupancy determination for an area is required. Source

Jachowski D.S.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Dobony C.A.,Fort Drum Military Installation | Coleman L.S.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Ford W.M.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | And 2 more authors.
Diversity and Distributions | Year: 2014

Aim: Emerging infectious diseases present a major perturbation with apparent direct effects such as reduced population density, extirpation and/or extinction. Comparatively less is known about the potential indirect effects of disease that likely alter community structure and larger ecosystem function. Since 2006, white-nose syndrome (WNS) has resulted in the loss of over 6 million hibernating bats in eastern North America. Considerable evidence exists concerning niche partitioning in sympatric bat species in this region, and the unprecedented, rapid decline in multiple species following WNS may provide an opportunity to observe a dramatic restructuring of the bat community. Location: We conducted our study at Fort Drum Army Installation in Jefferson and Lewis counties, New York, USA, where WNS first impacted extant bat species in winter 2007-2008. Methods: Acoustical monitoring during 2003-2011 allowed us to test the hypothesis that spatial and temporal niche partitioning by bats was relaxed post-WNS. Results: We detected nine bat species pre- and post-WNS. Activity for most bat species declined post-WNS. Dramatic post-WNS declines in activity of little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus, MYLU), formerly the most abundant bat species in the region, were associated with complex, often species-specific responses by other species that generally favoured increased spatial and temporal overlap with MYLU. Main conclusions: In addition to the obvious direct effects of disease on bat populations and activity levels, our results provide evidence that disease can have cascading indirect effects on community structure. Recent occurrence of WNS in North America, combined with multiple existing stressors, is resulting in dramatic shifts in temporal and spatial niche partitioning within bat communities. These changes might influence long-term population viability of some bat species as well as broader scale ecosystem structure and function. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Jachowski D.S.,Clemson University | Jachowski D.S.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Rota C.T.,University of Missouri | Rota C.T.,West Virginia University | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Conservation of bat species is one of the most daunting wildlife conservation challenges in North America, requiring detailed knowledge about their ecology to guide conservation efforts. Outside of the hibernating season, bats in temperate forest environments spend their diurnal time in day-roosts. In addition to simple shelter, summer roost availability is as critical as maternity sites and maintaining social group contact. To date, a major focus of bat conservation has concentrated on conserving individual roost sites, with comparatively less focus on the role that broader habitat conditions contribute towards roost-site selection. We evaluated roost-site selection by a northern population of federally-endangered Indiana bats (Myotis sodalis) at Fort Drum Military Installation in New York, USA at three different spatial scales: landscape, forest stand, and individual tree level. During 2007-2011, we radiotracked 33 Indiana bats (10 males, 23 females) and located 348 roosting events in 116 unique roost trees. At the landscape scale, bat roost-site selection was positively associated with northern mixed forest, increased slope, and greater distance from human development. At the stand scale, we observed subtle differences in roost site selection based on sex and season, but roost selection was generally positively associated with larger stands with a higher basal area, larger tree diameter, and a greater sugar maple (Acer saccharum) component. We observed no distinct trends of roosts being near high-quality foraging areas of water and forest edges. At the tree scale, roosts were typically in American elm (Ulmus americana) or sugar maple of large diameter (>30 cm) of moderate decay with loose bark. Collectively, our results highlight the importance of considering day roost needs simultaneously across multiple spatial scales. Size and decay class of individual roosts are key ecological attributes for the Indiana bat, however, larger-scale stand structural components that are products of past and current land use interacting with environmental aspects such as landform also are important factors influencing roost-tree selection patterns. © 2016, Public Library of Science. All rights reserved. This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. Source

Jachowski D.S.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Johnson J.B.,Pennsylvania Game Commission | Dobony C.A.,Fort Drum Military Installation | Edwards J.W.,West Virginia University | Ford W.M.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Endangered Species Research | Year: 2014

Despite 4 decades of conservation concern, managing endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) populations remains a difficult wildlife resource issue facing natural resource managers in the eastern United States. After small signs of population recovery, the recent emergence of white-nose syndrome has led to concerns of local and/or regional extirpation of the species. Where Indiana bats persist, retaining high-quality foraging areas will be critical to meet physiological needs and ensure successful recruitment and overwinter survival. However, insight into foraging behavior has been lacking in the Northeast of the USA. We radio-tracked 12 Indiana bats over 2 summers at Fort Drum, New York, to evaluate factors influencing Indiana bat resource selection during night-time foraging. We found that foraging space use decreased 2% for every 100 m increase in distance to water and 6% for every 100 m away from the forest edge. This suggests high use of riparian areas in close proximity to forest and is somewhat consistent with the species' foraging ecology in the Midwest and upper South. Given the importance of providing access to high-quality foraging areas during the summer maternity season, Indiana bat conservation at the northern extent of the species' range will be linked to retention of forested habitat in close proximity to riparian zones. © Inter-Research 2014. Source

Coleman L.S.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Coleman L.S.,Circle Technology | Ford W.M.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Dobony C.A.,Fort Drum Military Installation | Britzke E.R.,U.S. Army
Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management | Year: 2014

In the summers of 2011 and 2012, we compared passive and active acoustic sampling for bats at 31 sites at Fort Drum Military Installation, New York. We defined active sampling as acoustic sampling that occurred in 30-min intervals between the hours of sunset and 0200 with a user present to manipulate the directionality of the microphone. We defined passive sampling as acoustic sampling that occurred over a 12-h period (1900-0700 hours) without a user present and with the microphone set in a predetermined direction. We detected seven of the nine possible species at Fort Drum, including the federally endangered Indiana bat Myotis sodalis, the proposed-for-listing northern bat M. septentrionalis, the little brown bat M. lucifugus, and the big brown bat Eptesicus fuscus, which are impacted by whitenose syndrome (WNS); and the eastern red bat Lasiurus borealis, the hoary bat L. cinereus, and the silver-haired bat Lasionycteris noctivagans, which are not known to be impacted by WNS. We did not detect two additional WNSimpacted species known to historically occur in the area: the eastern small-footed bat Myotis leibii and the tri-colored bat Perimyotis subflavus. Single-season occupancy models revealed lower detection probabilities of all detected species using active sampling versus passive sampling. Additionally, overall detection probabilities declined in detected WNSimpacted species between years. A paired t-test of simultaneous sampling on 21 occasions revealed that overall recorded foraging activity per hour was greater using active than passive sampling for big brown bats and greater using passive than active sampling for little brown bats. There was no significant difference in recorded activity between methods for other WNS-impacted species, presumably because these species have been so reduced in number that their ‘‘apparency’’ on the landscape is lower. Finally, a cost analysis of standard passive and active sampling protocols revealed that passive sampling is substantially more cost-effective than active sampling per hour of data collection. We recommend passive sampling over active sampling methodologies as they are defined in our study for detection probability and/or occupancy studies focused on declining bat species in areas that have experienced severe WNS-associated impacts. Citation of the source, as given above, is requested. Source

Discover hidden collaborations