SDS Episode2 - The Habitat Requirements of Pacific Northwest Bats
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SDS Episode2 - The Habitat Requirements of Pacific Northwest Bats

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Habitat Requirements of Pacific Northwest Bats

Habitat Requirements of Pacific Northwest Bats

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  • 1. Learning About the Lives of Pacific Northwest BatsUsing radio-telemetry to study base habitat use requirementsJeffrey TaylorScience InstructorOlympus High School
    Get Your High School Diploma Online
  • 2. Bats: Background Information
    1000 species of bats world-wide, second to rodents
    Only group of mammals capable of sustained flight
  • 3. Bats: Background Information
    Broken up into two large groups:
    - Megachiroptera: fruit-eating
    i.e. “flying foxes” (Old World)
    - Microchiroptera: small, primarily insect-eating (our bats)
    * use echolocation to detect prey
    * use their good night vision to see larger objects and navigate
  • 4. The Lifestyles of Northwest Bats(Everything is based on energy conservation)
    Bats have extremely high metabolisms
    To maintain flight, conduct echolocation, and
    maintain warmth due to their large surface area
  • 5. The Lifestyles of Northwest Bats(Everything is based on energy conservation)
    To conserve energy they sleep… a lot!
    They hibernate in winter using stored fat
  • 6. The Lifestyles of Northwest Bats(Everything is based on energy conservation)
    To conserve energy they sleep… a lot!
    Enter torpor during the day to conserve fat reserves
    Only active about 15 min of every night hour
  • 7. The Lifestyles of Northwest Bats(Everything is based on energy conservation)
    Because they sleep so much and hibernate, they live much longer than other mammals of similar size.
    A shrew weighing 5-10 grams lives about 1 year
    A bat weighing 5-10 grams can live 12-30 years
  • 8. Myth or Truth?
    Do bats fly into people’s hair?
    • Do bats have rabies?
    • Do bats eat 600 mosquitoes per hour?
    • Do bats drink blood?
  • 9. Myth or Truth?
    Do bats fly into people’s hair?
    No, bats have excellent vision and sonar
    • Do bats have rabies?
    Some do, bats carry rabies around 1-5 per 1000
    Less often than raccoons, skunks, or foxes
    • Do bats eat 600 mosquitoes per hour?
    • Do bats drink blood?
  • 10. Myth or Truth?
    Do bats fly into people’s hair?
    No, bats have excellent vision and sonar
    • Do bats have rabies?
    Rabies is actually rare in bats
    • Do bats eat 600 mosquitoes per hour?
    Probably an exaggeration – especially since they roost 45 min per hour digesting food
    • Do bats drink blood?
    Only the Vampire bat of Central America
  • 11. Your Neighborhood Bats
    Twelve species of bats in the forested regions of the Pacific Northwest
    Some are very common, while others are rare or endangered
    There are two species likely to inhabit human dwellings in the PNW
    (Big Brown Bat and Little Brown Bat).
  • 12. Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus)
    Yuma Myotis
    (Myotis yumanensis)
    These two species are difficult to distinguish
    Most likely bat to be found in buildings
    Little brown myotis are found across North America
    Yuma Myotis are found only west of the Rockies
  • 13. Big Brown Bat(Eptesicus fuscus)
    A very common bat that ranges across North America
    Weighs about the same as a mouse (20-30 grams)
    Known to occupy buildings and will bite if handled
  • 14. Foliage Roosting Bats
    Migrate south for the winter
    Silver-haired Bat(Lasionycteris noctivagans)
    Found across northern North AmericaLittle is known about its population status
    Hoary bat
    (Lasiurus cinerus)
    The largest bat in North America
    Largest range: All North America & Hawaii
  • 15. Townsend’s Big-eared Bat(Plecotus townsendii)
    A rare cave roosting batHuge ears used to detect low-frequency moths
    Probably the most endangered bat in Washington
  • 16. California Myotis(Myotis californicus)
    A very small somewhat common bat More common eastside of the CascadesOften found in rock crevasses
    Western Small-footed Myotis
    (Myotis ciliolabrum)
    The smallest bat of Northwest forests
    More common eastside of the Cascades
    Found in rock crevasses and some caves
  • 17. Western Long-eared Myotis(Myotis evotis)
    A common bat found in forests west of the Rockies
    Uses peeling bark of snags as roost sites
  • 18. Fringed Myotis(Myotis thysanodes)
    A rare bat, uses caves and rock crevasses for roosting
    Species of concern because population status is unknown
    Distinguished by the fringe of hair on the tail membrane
  • 19. Keen’s Myotis(Myotis keenii)
    A cave roosting species found in coastal spruce forests
    Endangered in Canada, status is unknown in the U.S.Smallest range of any North American bat
  • 20. Long-legged Myotis(Myotis volans)
    An uncommon bat of the montane forests
    It is the largest of the Myotis bats in the Northwest
    It roosts under the peeling bark of snags
  • 21. Control Methods for Bats in Your Homes
    There are ways to exclude bats without killing them:
    • Hire pest management company to close off the access points
    Some bats love attics for roosting or hibernating due to the warmer temperatures.
    So, you may want to seal off the vents
  • 22. Control Methods for Bats in Your Homes
    There are ways to exclude bats without killing them:
    Between November and March is the best time
    If the bats are hibernating elsewhere, then when they return in spring, they can not get into your house.
  • 23. Control Methods for Bats in Your Homes
    There are ways to exclude bats without killing them:
    If you do exclude them in the summer, wait until
    at least Augustafter the young have fledged
    Otherwise the mothers will not be able to get back to them to feed them.
  • 24. Control Methods for Bats in Your Homes
    There are ways to exclude bats without killing them:
    NEVER exclude them in the day! Wait until they have emerged for the night.
    Otherwise you will have an attic full of desperate bats that will starve to death.
  • 25. How do we Conserve Bat Populations?
    Bats are very important to the ecology and economy of many ecosystems.
    They feed on many insects that cause great damage to forests, agricultural crops, and people.
  • 26. Understanding the Ecology of Bats in Pacific Northwest Forests
  • 27. Habitat Fragmentation is Considered
    the Biggest Threat to Bat Populations
  • 28. My Job
    Learn about the ecology of bats in the forests of the Cascade range.
    Find out what habitat types and ecological features are important to bats.
    Determine and make recommendations for timber management practices with bats in mind.
  • 29. The Long-legged Myotis
    • The long-legged myotis is generally considered to be associated with late-successional forests
    Listed by the Northwest Forest Plan as a species of concern and in need of further study
    Concerns that populations of this and other Myotis species were declining in the Northwest
  • 30. Information Needs for Myotis volans
    What are the specific roost-site structures preferred by the long-legged myotis?
    What is habitat use compared to availability? I.e. what successional stages do they prefer?
    Will the long-legged myotis use retention implemented under the Northwest Forest Plan?
  • 31.
  • 32. #1- Capture long-legged myotis with mist-nets
    at water sources (caves and water troughs)
  • 33. Mist Nets
  • 34. Alien Abduction!
    Your on your way to get a drink
    Then boom, you caught in a giant net, bright lights shine upon you, giant hands handle you. Then…
  • 35. Alien Abduction!
    Take Measurements and Place Radio-transmitters on Their Backs
  • 36. Unexpected Results and More Questions
    My hypothesis was that they were roosting in the cave in the day and would head out at dusk
    Instead, I captured them
    going INTO the caves at dusk!
    But why?
  • 37. #2- Release them and track them to their day-roost locations the next morning.
  • 38. They were roosting in trees in the day!
    As it turns out, they were using the caves to get a drink after they woke up and before they’d head out to hunt for moths.
  • 39. #3- Take roost measurements including:
    Roost height, diameter, canopy cover, canopy height, snag class and snag species
  • 40. Analysis
    GPS each roost-site location
    Create a circle with a radius from the
    water source to the furthest roost-site
    Use a GIS and aerial photos to map roost-sites and available habitat
    Place habitat polygons into circles
    Use a computer program to determine habitat use versus availability
  • 41. Eight habitat types were delineated
    Douglas fir/grand fir forests
    Stem initiation
    Earliest Succession Stage
  • 42. Retention Types in Managed Forests
  • 43. Early Successional Retention Types
    Aggregate Retention Patch
    Shelterwood
  • 44. Mid-successionalStages
    Stem Exclusion
    Stem Initiation Small
    Young trees are so densely packed that no new sprouts can grow
    Some of the young trees die, allowing more light to hit the ground and more new seedlings can survive
  • 45. Late-SuccessionalStages
    Stem Reinitiation Medium
    Stem Reinitiation Large
  • 46. Where the Bats Roosted
  • 47. West Site Habitat Selection
  • 48. Snag Species Selection
  • 49. Conclusions
    Long-legged myotis use snags as day-roosts
    Prefers late-successionalforests
    Strongly prefers
    large grand fir snags
  • 50. Conclusions
    Avoid early successional stages, but occasionally use aggregate retention patches and shelterwoods.
    Unknown what effect lack of late-successionalstands has on population size or reproductive success
  • 51. What can you do to protect bat
    populations?
    • Leave dead or dying trees on your property
    • Place a bat box on any large trees about 20 feet high
    • Avoid using insecticides, bats can be poisoned
    • If you find bats in buildings other than your homes,
    such as barns and sheds, let them stay!
    • If you have bats in your attic,
    leave them if they are not causing problems
  • 52. Management Implications
    Leave snags for bat species
    Leave at least small patches of late-successional forests in managed forests
    Grand fir should be maintained in management prescriptions for wildlife