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Northeast Bat Working Group
Berkley Springs, West Virginia

West Virginia State Update
Craig Stihler, WVDNR

Twenty-seven caves were surveyed for hibernating bats during winter 2003/2004. Several small (< 250) Myotis sodalis hibernacula were surveyed; M. sodalis populations in these caves were up 5.6% over the previous surveys. Total number of hibernating M. sodalis in WV is estimated at 10,770; total number of Corynorhinus townsendii virginia is estimated at 6,965.

Ten summer C.t. virginianus summer colonies were counted in June 2004 using infrared lights and nightvision equipment. A total of 6,238 bats were counted; an increase of 4.9% over the 2003 counts. In 2004, WVDNR biologists conducted mist net surveys on two state wildlife management areas and two state forests, but no endangered bats were captured. Mist netting/radio tracking efforts by other bat biologists working in WV in 2004 located two M. sodalis maternity colonies, including one at an elevation of around 3000 ft. (Chris Sanders). Other projects of interest include a study of the genetics of the genus Corynorhinus being conducted by Toni Piaggio, Univ. Colorado, radio tracking studies of M. lieibii conducted by WVDNR personnel, and ongoing research addressing bat mortalities at a wind power site in Tucker County, WV coordinated by the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative.

Radio Tracking Myotis leibii in West Virginia
Craig Stihler, WVDNR

Myotis leibii were radio tracked to locate roosts and, to a limited extent, foraging habitats. The study site was in Pendleton County, WV. During three tracking sessions, bats were mist netted at water sources on a dry ridge (North Fork Mountain). In 2001, four post-lactating females were captured and tracked. Transmitters were attached to these small bats using a small amount of eyelash cement. Unfortunately, all transmitters fell off within 12 hours. Two transmitters were recovered in apparent night roosts in rock outcrops. The other two transmitters were found on the ground near a large cliff (Smoke Cliff). In 2002, using more eyelash cement than in 2001, two post lactating females and one male were tracked. One female was followed to a day roost in a vertical crack in a large vertical rock outcropplng. The male was tracked to another cliff, and over a period of three days, used three different roost sites within the cliff. The second female lost its transmitter which was subsequently found near the base of a third cliff. In 2004 data were obtained for two post lactating females. One female was tracked to three different day roosts in a large cliff/talus complex (Smoke Cliff). Roosts were located both in the cliff and in the talus at the base of the outcrop. The second female was tracked to a different cliff where it was found roosting in a large vertical fissure. Both bats were also tracked at night to obtain information on foraging areas. The bats foraged primarily in dry oak-dominated hardwood forest near (up to 0.7 km for one bat and 1,5 km for the other) the day roosts Both bats appeared to night roost in rock outcrops between feeding bouts.

The Great Durham Bat Migration
John Chenger, Bat Conservation and Management, Inc.

The objective of this spring migration telemetry work was to connect individual little brown bats emerging from the Durham Mine with summer maternity colonies. Seven bats were fitted with transmitters and released with hopes of finding one summer maternity roost. Previous work elsewhere demonstrates that the distance between hibernation sites and maternity sites, is highly variable, poorly understood, and can range between 5 and 500 mites. Tracking migrating bats represents a significant challenge due to the bats' speed (up to 25 MPH (40 km/hr)) and short detection range (0.25-4 mites (0.4-6 km)) over topography. During the majority of the project, four of the seven bats were monitored on a daily basis. A total of 9 day roosts were identified at distances ranging from 1.5 to 12 miles (2.4-19 km) from the hibernacuim. Four significant roosts were discovered containing more than 30 individuals.

Large tracts of land were systematically searched multiple times in an effort to locate the remaining bats. Approximately 800 linear miles (1,288 km) were searched by air and car encompassing 1,734 square miles (4,492 square km). Night observations identified core foraging areas for the four bats at Springtown, Elephant, Ottsville, and Cooks Creek. All of the foraging areas were within 2 miles (3.2 km) of the roost. This project demonstrates that a small number of migrating bats can be successfully tracked using a team of coordinated ground observers coupled with daylight air searches. The ground team provided night observations, detailed, bat behavior, and initial migration direction. The ground team’s observations were used the next day to specifically target aerial searches in order to recover day roosts.

2003 NH Smallfooted Telemetry Revisited
John Chenger, Bat Conservation and Management, Inc.
In August 2003, surveyors would monitor Eastern small-footed, bats with coordinated radio telemetry techniques at Surry Mountain Lake in New Hampshire. One male and 2 female Eastern smallfooted bats were successfully radio tracked for a combined total of 8 nights. Five day roosts were identified along with a number of foraging areas and certain distinctive travel corridors. As this was only the second project that has attempted to radio track Eastern small-tooted bats, this compilation of information is invaluable to future project leaders and land managers. A general version of this presentation was given during the 2003 Northeast Bat Working Group Meeting. It has been refreshed focusing on the telemetry observations due to the interest in small footed bats at the 2004 NEBWG meeting.

What l Learned About Call Analysis
John Chenger, Bat Conservation and Management, Inc.
Since having an ANABAT recorder vanish in the 2003 field season, the opportunity arose to replace it with any other technology and software available. I chose to try the Sonobat software, a modern laptop, and a Pettersson bat detector. I will relate how I incorporated acoustic monitoring into one summer project, how I built a call library, and the differences I can see with every bat species in the northeast.

Northeast Bat
Working Group

2005 NEBWG Berkley Springs, WV Meeting info is available to download:

PDF version of:

Meeting Abstracts
Meeting Agenda

Special thanks to:

Craig Stihler

for organizing and hosting NEBWG 2005!

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