Bats, people, and properties: conservation and conflict in Grand Teton
PI: Dave Gustine, Shan Burson
Grand Teton (GRTE) began a multi-year study to assess bat populations to document species distribution and relative abundance as well as document presence and phenology of diurnal and nocturnal activity throughout the summer. We did this through acoustic detection of echolocation calls using Wildlife Acoustic's SM2BT FS, SM3BAT FS, and SM4BAT FS detectors at 37 sites. Preliminary analyses using Sonobat 4 with the Pacific West classifier indicate six species of bats (Little Brown, Big Brown, Hoary, Silver-haired, Long-legged, and Long-eared) were widespread and common, although at different relative proportions depending on location. Four additional species were tentatively ID'ed but at much lower abundance. We inventoried park infrastructure to catalog potential and existing bat roosts, and cataloged night lighting to assess association with bat activity. Next summer through a CESU agreement, we plan to capture bats to confirm species ID and to use radiotelemetry to locate summer roosts and hibernacula of little brown bats and other species. We developed two brochures to enhance WNS education and other bat-related information. The "Living with Bats" brochure was designed to provide an introduction to bats, their ecological benefits, the risks from rabies, and detailed information about WNS for visitors and park employees.