Nursery roost habitat survey, netting bats, genetic testing for the fungus that causes WNS, surveying for bat species, tracking bats to roosting sites, year around acoustic monitoring of bats. Tracking bat genetics.
PI: Rodney Rovang
Effigy Mounds National Monument utilized the 2016 WNS funds to conduct a third year of bat monitoring. The objective of this agreement is to fund a survey of the bat species utilizing the available habitat at Effigy Mounds National Monument (EFMO) during the growing season. The immediate goals of this project are 1) to assess the bat community at EFMO for evidence of exposure to Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungus that causes White-Nose Syndrome (WNS); 2) to determine whether Indiana bats (Myotis sodalis), a federally endangered species, occur within EFMO; 3) to document and describe the bat assemblage present in EFMO; 4) to document and describe the temporal diversity of the bat assemblage that occurs within EFMO; and 5) to create a baseline against which any future bat surveys in eastern Iowa may be compared. Our results to date for each objective are: 1) ~5% of bats sampled (2014 and 2015 samples) have tested positive for exposure to Pseudogymnoascus destructans and we have >100 samples from 2016 that require molecular analysis that will commence in September 2106; 2) we have no evidence to suggest the presence of Myotis sodalis in Effigy Mounds National Monument; 3) Present species are, in order of abundance of capture through mist-netting, Myotis lucifigus, Myotis septentrionalis, Eptesicus fuscus, Lasiurus borealis, Perimyotis subflavus, Lasiurus cinereus, and Lasionycteris noctivagans; 4) temporal shifts in community structure do appear with a detected increase in Myotis lucifugus from early summer to late summer and corresponding decreases in Myotis septentrionalis and Eptesicus fuscus while other species remain relatively consistent through time; and 5) 2016 represents a second year for constructing a baseline. We caught 92 bats during 2015 and 184 in 2016. There were a total of 42 net nights in 2015 and a total of 53 net nights in 2016. The resulting Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) was 2.19 bats per net night in 2015 and 3.47 bats per net night in 2016.