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INVENTORY OF BAT COMMUNITY COMPOSITION AT GETTYSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK AND EISENHOWER NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE

Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2006/052

James A. Hart
The Nature Conservancy
Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program
208 Airport Drive
Middletown, PA 17057

August 2006

U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service
Northeast Region
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Summary

Although the fauna of Pennsylvania has been studied extensively across much of the state it has only recently been investigated in NPS properties such as the Gettysburg National Military Park and the Eisenhower National Historic Site. This study was initiated to predict and determine the bat communities within both park units and to generate recommendations that would ensure that adequate habitat exists for these species without impacting the historical significance of both sites. To that end, six sites were surveyed over the course of 12 nights for a total of 45 “netnights” and resulted in the capture of 55 bats of four species. The most common species captured were the little brown (Myotis lucifugus) and big brown (Eptesicus fuscus) bats. The preponderance of both species captured were females, which may indicate that several maternity colonies exist within the confines of the parks. The information gathered during this study, coupled with that of previous Resource Manager, Dr. Bert Frost, demonstrates that of the nine species that could possibly occur within GETT/EISE six have recently been captured, including the red bat, Lasiurus borealis, hoary bat, L. cinereus, eastern pipistrelle, Pipistrellus subflavus, and northern long-eared bat, M. septentrionalis, and another has been radio tracked (the federally endangered Indiana bat, M. sodalis) within the vicinity of the parks during spring migration.

Recommendations for continued research include more surveys in forested habitat to assess use of forests by tree species such as the red and hoary bats, spring and fall mist-netting for the Indiana bat, and continued monitoring of possible maternity sites. Recommendations also include the creation of artificial roost sites for bats in areas where the historical significance of the parks will not be impaired.

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