Volume 5, Number 1 S p rin g 2009 2009 WBWG Biennial Conference and Bats/Wind Energy Workshop Summaries Mexican free-tailed bats. (Kristi DuBois Photo) Bracken Cave field trip. (Kristi DuBois Photo) Austin was Awesome! Congress Avenue Bridge. (Kristi DuBois Photo)
WESTERN BAT WORKING GROUP NEWSLETTER Spring 2009 Volume 5, Number 1 PRESIDENTS CORNER ..............................................................................................................3 LETTER FROM THE EDITORS ...................................................................................................4 STATE/PROVINCIAL UPDATES ................................................................................................5 ALASKA ....................................................................................................................................5 BRITISH COLUMBIA ...............................................................................................................6 CALIFORNIA ............................................................................................................................6 MONTANA ................................................................................................................................7 NEW MEXICO ...........................................................................................................................7 NEVADA ....................................................................................................................................8 MULTI-STATE ..........................................................................................................................8 BOB BERRY MEMORIAL FUND ...............................................................................................9 UPCOMING EVENTS .................................................................................................................11 BATS AND WIND ENERGY WORKSHOP SUMMARY ........................................................12 WBWG 2009 BIENNIAL MEETING SUMMARY AND ABSTRACTS ..................................15 WBWG 2009 BIENNIAL MEETING PHOTO GALLERY ........................................................36 The Western Bat Working Group (WBWG) is a partner in the Coalition of North American Bat Working Groups. The WBWG is comprised of agencies, organizations and individuals interested in bat research, management, and conservation from 13 western States, the Provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, and Northern Mexico. Membership in the WBWG is open to anyone who is interested in participating in bat conservation. There are no membership fees or dues. Funding for bat conservation work accomplished by the WBWG is generated by State and Federal land management agencies, non-governmental organizations, and by donations from individual members. Visit our web page http://wbwg.org to contact us, find information on bat conservation and upcoming meetings, become a member, link to state or provincial bat working groups, or download previous issues of this newsletter. WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 2
PRESIDENTS CORNER In reading a recent interview with the writer Cynthia Ozick, I was struck by her statement A review is a job of probity: of honest and honorable responsibility to a fellow writers craft and thought. Although spoken in the context of writing reviews of other writers work, I drew a parallel between Ozicks work and ours. We both have a job of probity. In our case, our honesty and responsibility necessarily extend not only to each other, but to our conservation partners and to the bats we represent. Finding solutions to the challenges we face, such as wind energy and whitenose syndrome (WNS), among others, will require our greatest efforts in this regard. So as I begin my tenure as president, I reflect on my role and responsibility and how best to serve this group. I benefit from the legacy created by others as well as the collective and institutional knowledge of the group. Joining me in officesome familiar and some neware Vice President Cori Lausen, Secretary Heather Johnson, Treasurer Brad Phillips, elected atlarge representatives Martin Grenier and Dave Johnston, and presidentially appointed atlarge representatives Angie McIntire and Tim Snow. As we transition, we acknowledge our gratitude to outgoing officers Pat Ormsbee, Toni Piaggio, Michelle Caviness, Jason Williams, and Pat Brown, all who continue to serve the Western Bat Working Group in many capacities. At the recent Bats and Wind Energy Workshop and Western Bat Working Group 2009 Biennial Meeting in Austin, Texas, we heard from a coterie of speakers on diverse topics including an introduction to wind energy and bat issues; study design and estimators of fatality; preconstruction tools for assessing bat activity; postconstruction studies and considerations; strategies for mitigating bat fatalities at wind facilities; roosting and population ecology; inventory, monitoring, and habitat use; and bat conservation strategies. In addition, we spent half a day strategizing a collaborative approach to raising awareness of and preventing the spread of WNS in the West. Bats face unprecedented threats as evidenced by the alarming spread of WNS and its potential to cause regional extirpations or at worst extinctions of several bat species. To elevate this issue, the US Congress in a letter dated 2009 May 5 to US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar called on Secretary Salazar to provide immediate, emergency funding to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Geological Survey for critical research on and to create a cure for WNS. In addition, wind power continues to emerge as a threat with yet untold implications to bat populations. In a recent congressional address, US President Barack Obama emphasized the need to find new sources of energy with plans to double the USs supply of renewable energy over the next 3 years, which will in part be met by wind power. Advances in our knowledge of how best to address the effects of wind power on bats and finding ways to prevent mortalities will be critical given the current demand for renewable energy. Many other issues require our attention as wellI have only highlighted two. So on behalf of myself and the other WBWG officers, I invite you to share your ideas on how we can best address the needs of the WBWG and bats. Finally, we seek ways to engage more participation from the larger membership to serve on committees, and thus to enhance our ability to effect action. Rita Dixon WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 3
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 4 In closing, I leave you with a quote from E.O. Wilson, who in spite of everything he knows, maintains an attitude of enthusiasm and optimism in a world of daunting challenges: You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the pa th. Aim high. Behave honor ably. Prepare to be alone at times and to endure failure. Pers ist! The world needs all you can give. Sincerely, Rita Dixon LETTER FROM THE EDITORS This Newsletter As was done in the spring 2006 newsletter issue, this issue focuses on the biennial conference program. Included you will find abstracts from the conference and the agenda of the wind energy workshop that preceded it. The full c onference booklet and workshop booklet (including abstracts) can be found on the WBWG website. This issue has a truncated version of our State/Provinces Updates section, but this section will be in its entirety again in the Fall issue. New Editors Starting in Fall Wow, where has the time gone! Hard to believ e it has already been four years since the newsletter first started! We have greatly enjoyed our time as editors of the WBWG newsletter during this time. However, it is time we pass on the torch! Wed like to introduce to you our next set of co-editors: Lorraine Andrusiak senior wildlife biologist with Keysto ne Wildlife Research in Surrey, B.C. Julie York wildlife biologist with USDA Forest Service in Bend, Oregon Thank you Lorraine and Julie for ta king on this important set of du ties. We all look forward to hearing from you in the fall for our next issue of the newsletter! Cori Lausen and Kristi DuBois, Newsletter Editors (Outgoing)
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 5 STATE/PROVINCIAL UPDATES ALASKA Remote sensing camera system for evaluati on of bat use of Abandoned Mines on the Chugach National Forest, Alaska. Aaron Poe, Wildlife Biologist, Chugach National Forest, 907-754-2345, firstname.lastname@example.org ; There are numerous abandoned hard rock mines on public lands in Alaska. Many of those on US Forest Service managed lands are slated for even tual closure because they pose a risk to public safety. These mines may support important hibernacula for species of bats residing in the state, including the rare Keen's Myotis which wa s recently placed on the USFS Alaska Region Sensitive Species list. In other parts of their range, bats congregate in very large numbers during the winter. Little is known about the hibernation habits of bats in Alaska but it is possible that a high proportion of our bat populations winter in a relatively small number of mines and caves in southcentral and southeast Alaska where winter time temperatures are more moderate. Most mines on US Forest Service managed lands in Alaska are remote and difficult to access even during the summer months, and many are nearly impossible to reach during the winter. Given these constraints the need exists to deve lop a remote tool to assess bat use of mines throughout the winter season which can last for se veral months. Working with Dr. Rick Sherwin from Christopher Newport University we are in the process of field testing remote camera systems in abandoned mines on the Kenai Peni nsula and Prince William Sound. These units are designed to be deployed remotely for up to one year. They are capable of capturing and storing tens of thousands of time-stamped images of bat movements in underground workings, triggered by motion, thermal infrared and acoustic sensors. It is our hope that thes e current field tests will define operating procedures and precision estimat es for unit deployment in harsh high latitude conditions like those in Alaskan mines. Third Season of Inventory Study in Skagway Dashiell Feierabend, Wildlife Biotechnician Dave Schirokauer, Natural Resources Program Manager Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park We are continuing our passive acoustic monitori ng study in Skagway, Alaska, that was initiated in the summer of 2007. Th is season we will use an Anabat 2 unit paired with ZCAIM to collect daily recordings at a single site that has been monitored since 2007. The hope is to continue to gain an understanding of the arri val and departure of seasonal bats as well as the fluctuation of activity with respect to daylight and temperature. The call data from 2007 and 2008 sugge st that bats arrive in Skagwa y in late April and depart in mid October. Because Klondike Gold Rush NHP lacks the res ources to conduct discriminant function analysis on calls, it was not possible to accurately identify most calls to species level. The primary candidate for most of the call data is Myotis lucifugus based on its known range and the shape of the recorded calls. Other possibilities include M. keenii M. volans, and M. californicus, which have been documented in Southeast Alaska and British Columbia. Twenty of the unidentified
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 6 recordings ranged down to 25 kHz and likely belong to L. noctivagans or Eptesicus fuscus With the assistance of Cori Lausen, we confirmed a singl e occurrence of Lasionycteris noctivagans which was previously considered a possibl e summer resident in the region. The park would like to thank Aaron Poe and th e Forest Service in Girdwood, Alaska, for the continued loan of Anabat equipment. BRITISH COLUMBIA New Bat Working Group B.C. announces the formation of their bat working group! Because of the topographic complexity and size of the province, making travel extensive and expensive, the group opted for a first meeting via teleconference. More than 25 attendees from government, consulting, and other backgrounds met over the phone for a fu ll day on 1 May. Presentations included the History of Bat Work in B.C., White Nose Syndrome, Wind Turbines, Mines, Centralized Database, Status/Conservation of Species, etc. The group is currently working closely with government to put into place wind turbine and white nose protocols/guidelines. Research and conservation priorities were id entified, and 6 committees have b een established: Wind Energy and Bats, WNS, Data Management and RISC Review, Bat Watch Outr each, Interagency, Bats and Risk. The group has a data share point that requires sign-on, but hopes to have a website later this year. A formal name for the group has not been established. A bat blitz is tentatively planned for early Sept. in the so uth Okanagan to target finding Parastrellus hesperus, a species anecdotally thought to be present in the province. CALIFORNIA Bat Conservation and the California Depa rtment of Fish and Game (CDFG) Scott D. Osborn (email@example.com) After more than 10 years of work as CDFGs st atewide coordinator for th e conservation of bats, amphibians, and reptiles, Betsy Bolster has handed off the bat work to Scott Osborn. Betsy will be focusing on reptiles and amphibians now, but will continue to provide guidance to Scott as he attempts to emulate her high standard of performan ce. In addition to bats, Scotts position in the Nongame Program of CDFGs W ildlife Branch includes statewide coordination on conservation issues related to other small mammal s, including rodents and lagomorphs. Dr. Dixie Pierson continues to lead the Califor nia Bat Conservation Plan effort, working with other California bat experts under contract to CD FG. The draft Plan is due to CDFG in July 2009. The final Plan, including an Acoustic Libr ary and Survey Protocols, is due in 2010. Although White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) has not yet been detected in California, CDFG has begun including conditions in Scientific Collec ting Permits to minimize the potential for introducing or spreading WNS. Scott has begun coordination efforts with CDFGs Wildlife Investigation Laboratory to en sure a veterinarian on staff keeps abreast of the latest developments related to WNS. CDFG will work with the Wildlife Lab, state bat working group, and WBWG to develop a response plan if WNS is detected in the state. Scott is also working with Heat her Johnson and others to addre ss bat conservation during closure of abandoned mines in California. Using the successes in Nevada and other states as a model, Scott hopes CDFG can influence and improve e fforts at assessing whether bats would be impacted by proposed mine closures and ensuring that roosts remain available to bats after closure.
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 7 MONTANA Submitted by Bryce Maxell Montana Natural Heritage Program Bryce Maxell, Helena, Montana 59620-1800 firstname.lastname@example.org We produced a report summarizing morphology information from all of the recent surveys in Montana and summarizing the latest distribut ion information. The report is posted at: http://mtnhp.org/Reports/USFS_Bats_2007.pdf We have a statewide sampling scheme in pl ace for monitoring bat species with occupancy analysis using quarter 1:24K quad maps as the sa mpling grid. We have completed surveys in NE Montana in 2008 with this methodology, will comp lete SE Montana in 2009, and will complete western Montana in 2010. This will yield st atewide occupancy estimates for Montana bat species that can be used for future comparisons. NEW MEXICO Compiled by Jim Stuart and Ernie Valdez, NMBWG co-chairs The New Mexico Bat Working Group (NMBWG) meets twice yearly and our most recent meeting was in April. Members include agency re presentatives, caving enthusiasts, and others interested in bats. Current projects by the NMBWG are completion of a state Bat Conservation Plan, the development of a reporting protocol for possible White-nosed Syndrome occurrences in New Mexico, and increased coordination a nd evaluation of wind energy projects. Various members of NMBWG are involved in bat re search projects in th e state. Contractors working on lands at Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) near Albuquerque are in their third year of bat studies, including mist-net and Anabat survey s at water sources, use of radiotelemetry to locate roost sites, mine surveys, and a study of artificial roost boxe s to identify temperatures and orientations most preferred by bats. The research team, led by Katherine Thibault and Travis Perry, has identified seven bat sp ecies at KAFB and obt ained some interesting new information on maternity sites of Townsends Big-eared Bat, Pallid Bat, Western Small-footed Myotis, and Southwestern Myotis. This season, they hope to obtain additional roosting ecology data, especially for the latter species. Ken Harrington is working with a caving group in Eddy County and has recently identified a new cave site being used by Townsends Big-eare d Bat. They are also monitoring two other caves with populations of Cave Myotis estimated at 8,000 and 30,000. Jennifer Foote continues her survey work with BLM in southeastern New Me xico and in February did bat counts in three caves. Several hundred Townsends Bigeared and up to several thousand Myotis spp. were detected at these sites. BCI biologists Christa Weise a nd Dan Taylor have been working with White Sands Missile Range Technical Services to conduct an inventor y of bat species by hab itat and season, and an analysis water distribution and condition on the Ft. Bliss Military Reservation. Initiated last winter, the inventory work will continue through this summer and fall, and involves capture, acoustic detection, and roost searches. To date, a minimum of five species of bat have been detected, with Silver-haired, Mexica n Free-tailed, Canyon, and Big Brown bats and Myotis sp. (most likely M. californicus) active even on cold, winter nights. Silver-haired was caught at two high elevation sites at temper atures just above freezing. With funding from the New Mexico
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 8 Game & Fish Department Share With Wildlife gran t program, Dan is also working with Forest Service biologists on the Smokey Bear Ranger Distri ct of the Lincoln National Forest to assess the condition and availability of water for sensitive bat species in the Bonito Watershed, and working with the Quivira Coalition, a progressive ranching association, to develop a showcase water development for livestock and bats on their Rowe Mesa ranch. NEVADA Submission from Jennifer Newmark and Katie Miller Nevada Bat Working Group Katie Miller has replaced Derek Hall as the Nevada Bat Working Group Co-chair. Her email is email@example.com and her phone is 775-777-2368. T WBWG Conferences 2011 WBWG Conference announcement: Nevada will be the host for the next biennial meeting and conference in Las Vegas. At the Austin 2009 conference the following two presentations were made by Nevada biologists. Full abstracts are in the Conference Program below. The Business of Building Bat Gates at Abandoned Mine Lands in Nevada Katie Erin G. Miller* and Jason Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org Nevada Department of Wildlife, Elko, NV; Nevada Department of Wildlife, Ely, NV. Using radio-telemetry to understand a migratory population of Tadarida brasiliensis in the Great Basin of Nevada Jason A. Williams*, Richard E. Sherwin, and Michael J. Herder, email@example.com Nevada Department of Wildlife, Ely, NV; Christopher Newport Univers ity, Newport News, VA; Bureau of Land Management, Ely, NV. MULTI-STATE U.S. Forest Service Awards Region 1 The following people were recognized by the U.S. Forest Service with the "Wings Across the Americas" awards. These were awarded for the multi-year bat survey and mine gating program. Forest Service: Jenny Taylor, Amie Shovlain, Jenny Ho lifield, Joanne Bonn, Sarah Kaufman, Pat Ormsbee Other Recipients : Joe Szewczak Humboldt State University; Cori Lausen Birchdale Ecological Ltd.; Bryce Maxell Montana Natural Heritage Program; Kristi DuBois Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks; Lewis Young volunteer; Dan Taylor Bat Conservation International These twelve biologists were recognized in Marc h with a national U.S. Forest Service award in Washington, D.C. for their bat research and habitat improvement work on national forests on twelve national forests in Idaho and Montana an d a national grassland in North & South Dakota. The Forest Service has gated more than one hundred mines, mostly on the Idaho Panhandle
National Forests, that keep people out of unsafe mines while allowing bats to use the mines as hibernacula, maternity sites, etc. Starting with abandoned mine surveys on national forests in 1996, the Forest Service's bat inventory was expanded in 2005 with these objectives: (1) To use a standardized grid-based protocol to survey bats in a wide variety of habitats throughout its Northern Region; (2) train Forest Service biologists and interested partners to conduct bat surveys; and (3) consolidate bat data in state Natural Heritage Program databases to facilitate future bat research and partnerships. BOB BERRY MEMORIAL FUND 2009 Awards Presented Some excellent proposals were received and awards presented at the annual meeting of the WBWG in Austin April 17, 2009. The WBWG scientific research advisory committee reviewed the proposals. The following awards were given: The Bob Berry Holohil Award: Elizabeth Braun de Torrez of Boston University for Foraging behavior, habitat selection and ecosystem services of bats in a Texas pecan agroecosystem received six transmitters donated by Holohil and a $1,000 cash award for receiver purchase or to cover research expenses. The Bob Berry Titley Electronics Award: Tammy Branston and Eric Weiss of the California Department of Fish and Game for Acoustic monitoring of bats during the rewatering of the Lower Owens River received an SD1 receiver and a free spot (Eric participated) in one of the Anabat trainings donated by Titley Electronics. The Bob Berry Binary Acoustic Technology and Sonobat Award: Janene Lichtenberg, Wildlife Biologist with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes for Bat survey of the Flathead Reservation based on the Montana Bat Grid Protocol received AR125 Ultrasonic Receiver, SPECTR software and an FR125 field recorder donated by Mark Jensen, and a Sonobat full software suite donated by Joe Szewczak. Awards criteria were: 1) the need for specific equipment or technological training to further bat field research and/or conservation. 2) that the results of the research or project will help to perpetuate bat conservation in Western North America, and the initial investment will continue to return benefits. 3) that sound scientific methods are integral to the proposed project. Bob was always helping others. The impetus behind the generous donations to this fund is to perpetuate Bobs legacy of assisting others. Bob utilized his engineering and computer skills to refine the tools used for bat-related field work, and to help people to understand the different and changing technologies. Bob worked best one-on-one and offered his expertise to many students and agency biologists. The goal of these awards is to facilitate research by providing current technology and training from the developers of the technology. WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 9
Bob Berry Equipment Library Established Donations are now being accepted by the WBWG for the Bob Berry Equipment Library with the goal of recycling equipment and research supplies. When projects end, sometimes equipment is left on the shelves and could still be used to further bat research and conservation. Outright donations by private individuals and companies would be tax-deductible. Loans for specified periods are also encouraged, especially for government agencies. Examples of possible equipment (in usable condition) include bat detectors, radio tracking equipment and transmitters, mist nets and poles, harp traps and night vision equipment. Fred Anderka has offered to refurbish any donated Holohil transmitters for free. A loan application and agreement will be required for checking out equipment. Oversight will be provided by the WBWG scientific advisory committee. The assumption is that the equipment be returned in the condition that it is received, although transmitter loss may be inevitable. The borrower would be responsible for replacing or repairing equipment that is lost or damaged and for shipping costs. Greg Falxa has agreed to be the first Librarian with responsibilities of receiving and sending equipment and making sure equipment is functional when it's borrowed and that its returned in good condition. Equipment donations/loans should be sent directly to him at Greg Falxa, 5230 Cushman Rd NE, Olympia, WA 98506 or if delivery confirmation signature is needed, to his (part-time) office: Greg Falxa, Cascadia Research, 218 1/2 W. Fourth Ave, Olympia, WA 98501, Gregs cell & message phone is: 360.870.8243. Transmitters should be sent to Holohil directly, earmarked for the Bob Berry Fund: Holohil Systems Ltd., 112 John Cavanaugh Drive, Carp, Ontario K0A 1L0, CANADA. Bob Berry, with his new Binary Acoustics system. When sending donations or loans, please also notify Pat Brown ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) or treasurer Brad Phillips ( email@example.com ) so that your contribution or loan can be acknowledged, and a central list be maintained. A list of equipment and supplies available for check out will be listed on the WBWG website. WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 10 Pat Brown and Bob Berry.
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 11 UPCOMING EVENTS American Society of Mammalogists 2009 Meeting. University of Alaska, Fairbanks. June 24 28 th 2009. 10 th International Mammalogical Congress. Aug. 9 14 th 2009. Mendoza Convention Center, Mendoza Province, Argentina. Official language: English. 16 th Annual Conference -The Wildlife Society Monterey, California. Sept. 20-24, 2009. 39 th Annual Symposium on Bat Research. North American Society for Bat Research. Portland, Oregon. Nov. 4 7, 2009. Symposium on Conservation and Management of Big-Eared Bats ( Corynorhinus ). Southeastern Bat Diversity Network. Athens, Georgia. March 9-11, 2010. Presentations covering the three taxa of big-ear ed bats (Ozark Big-eared Bat, Virginia Big-eared Bat, and Rafinesque's Big-eared Bat). 17 th Annual Conference -The Wildlife Society. Snowbird, Utah. Oct. 3 7, 2010. Western Bat Working Gro up Biennial Conference. Las Vegas, Nevada. Spring 2011. Conference will likely be preceded by a Wind Energy and Bats Workshop. BCI 2009 BAT CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT WORKSHOPS Mammoth Cave, KY and Barree, PA These popular workshops are filling fast. Reserv e your place for a unique opportunity to learn about bats, their conservation and the latest tools and techniques for studying them in the field. Experience six days of class wor k, discussions and hands-on field tr ips with expert instructors. More than 1,460 people have attended BCI workshops since 1990. Heres why: Hands-on: bat handling, identificati on, netting and trapping Experience with field techniques: radio-tracking, marking, li ght-tagging, echolocation recording, advanced capture techniques Lectures and demonstrations: habitat assessment and management, conservation and status determination Qualified staff: BCI biologists, local colleagues and region al experts with at least 20 years of bat-conservation experience Small class size: 1 instructor per 4-5 stude nts at all field settings Networking opportunities: educators, consultants and peers All-inclusive cost: $1,395 covers lodging, materials, meals and take-home resources Kentucky: July 14-19 Pennsylvania: August 14-19 For information and online applications, visit: http://www.batcon.org/index.php/education/workshops.html or contact Peg Lau Hee at 512-3279721 or firstname.lastname@example.org
BATS AND WIND ENERGY WORKSHOP SUMMARY The following is the program agenda from the WBWG Wind Energy and Bats workshop that took place at the Radisson Town Lake, Austin, TX April 13 15, 2009. See the WBWG website for a pdf of the full program, including abstracts. Host: Bat Conservation International and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Wind Energy Workshop Coordination: Ed Arnett, Paul Cryan, Bronwyn Hogan, Cori Lausen, Angie McIntyre, Rebecca Patterson, Ted Weller Workshop Program: Rebecca Patterson, Bat Conservation International Monday, April 13, 2009 BATS 101 Joe Szewczak, Humboldt State University Evening Social Poolside & Congress Ave Bridge Emergence Tuesday, April 14, 2009 SESSION 1: INTRODUCTION to WIND ENERGY AND BAT ISSUES Welcome and Opening Remarks Carter Smith, Executive Director, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Future Wind Energy Technology Development in the United States and Implications for Wildlife Robert Thresher, National Renewable Energy Laboratory The Law and Economics of Wind Glen Webb, P.C., Attorney at Law [TALK GIVEN BY ED ARNETT] Wind Energy Development and Wildlife: Industry Challenges and Perspectives Post Mountaineer Response by the Wind Industry Jim Lindsay, NextEra Energy Resources Bat Fatality at Wind Energy Facilities in North America: Perspectives on Patterns, Challenges, and Opportunities Ed Arnett, Bat Conservation International An Overview of Guidelines and Protocols for Wind Energy Development: Implications for Bats and Other Wildlife Bronwyn Hogan, California Department of Fish and Game SESSION 2: STUDY DESIGN AND ESTIMATORS OF FATALITY Study Design Issues and Field Sampling Biases in Mortality Estimation at Wind Facilities Wallace P. Erickson, Western Ecosystems Technology Estimators of Wildlife Fatality: A Critical Examination of Methods Manuela Huso, Oregon State University SESSION 3: POST-CONSTRUCTION STUDIES and CONSIDERATIONS Post Construction Fatality Studies and Lessons Learned Eastern U.S.: Ed Arnett, Bat Conservation International Western/Midwest U.S.: Jeff Gruver and Wally Erickson, WEST Canada: Erin Baerwald, University of Calgary Europe: Ivo Neirmann, University of Hanover WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 12
Each presentation will be 20 min. Topics will include: plot layout, plot and habitat delineation, handling carcasses and injured bats, conducting searcher efficiency and carcass removal trials, other data collection procedures, key findings from studies. Equipment Demonstration at Congress Avenue Bridge (Acoustic detectors, night vision, thermal imaging) Chris Corben, Titley Electronics (ANABAT detectors) Joe Szewczak, Humboldt State University (Pettersson detectors and SONOBAT) Liz Braun, Boston University (Infrared Thermal Imaging) Todd Mabee, ABR (Night Vision Binoculars) Adam Kelly, DeTect (Radar) Anabat detector with PDA display. (Kristi DuBois Photo) Infrared Thermal Imaging. (Kristi DuBois Photo) Radar system. (Kristi DuBois Photo) WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 13
Wednesday, April 15, 2009 SESSION 4: PRE-CONSTRUCTION TOOLS FOR ASSESSING BAT ACTIVITY An Overview of Tools for Assessing Preconstruction Bat Activity at Proposed Wind Facilities Joe Szewczak, Humboldt State University Design Considerations and Data Needs for Pre-Construction Assessments Ted Weller, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station Pre-Construction Studies: Techniques and Lessons Learned -Key Findings and Deployment of Acoustic Equipment Jeff Gruver, Western Ecosystems Technology -Acoustic Identification of Bats Eric Britzke, US Army Corps of Engineers -Use of Marine Radar to Study Bat Emergence and Movement Patterns Donald Solick, Western Ecosystems Technology -New Advances in Radar Technology to Monitor Bats Adam Kelly, Jennifer Davenport, DeTect SESSION 5: STRATEGIES FOR MITIGATING BAT FATALITIES Options for Mitigating Bat Fatalities at Wind Facilities Ed Arnett, BCI A Large-Scale Mitigation Experiment to Reduce Bat Fatalities at Wind Energy Facilities Erin Baerwald, University of Calgary Reducing Bat Fatalities at Wind Energy Facilities by Changing Turbine Cut-in Speed Ed Arnett, BCI and Erin Baerwald, University of Calgary The Potential for Acoustic Broadcasts to Deter Bats from Approaching Wind Turbines Joe Szewczak, Humboldt State University SESSION 6: BREAK OUT GROUPS Anabat Detectors, Software, and Analysis Chris Corben, Titley Electronics; Eric Britzke, US Army Corps of Engineers Pettersson Detectors and Sonobat Software Joe Szewczak, Humboldt State University Field Methods for Deploying Detectors Michael Schirmacher, BCl; Cris Hein, ABR; Donald Solick, Western Ecosystems Technology Radar Systems Adam Kelly, DeTect Carcass Searches Ed Arnett, Bat Conservation International; Erin Baerwald, University of Calgary; Jeff Gruver, Western Ecosystems Technology Fatality Estimation Manuela Huso, Oregon State University Can y ou find the dead bat? (Kristi DuBois Photo) WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 14
WBWG 2009 BIENNIAL MEETING SUMMARY AND ABSTRACTS Western Bat Working Group 2009 Biennial Meeting for the Management and Conservation of Bats The following is the program and abstracts from the WBWG Wind Energy and Bats workshop that took place at the Radisson Town Lake, Austin, TX April 15 18, 2009. Highlights of the conference included the awarding of the Bob Berry Memorial Awards, the field trip to Bracken Cave to watch the free-tail emergence, the Congress Avenue nightly free-tail emergences, the live and silent auctions and the raffle, and the White Nose Syndrome Workshop. Host: Bat Conservation International & Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Program: Michelle Caviness, USDI Bureau of Land Management Conference Logo and T-shirt Graphic: Original line drawing by Jason Huerta, Bat Conservation International Registration: Michelle Caviness, USDI Bureau of Land Management Rebecca Patterson, Bat Conservation International Aimee Hart, USDI Bureau of Land Management Nyta Hensley, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Field Trips: Rebecca Patterson and Ed Arnett, Bat Conservation International Auction/Raffle: Pat Brown, Brown-Berry Biological Consultants. And thank you to all folks who donated to the auction/raffle: BCI, Bronwyn Hogan, Bruce Talbot, Chester Martin, Cori Lausen, Cyndi Mosch, Deb Crough, Holohil, Lorraine Andrusiak, Mike Pearce, Pat Brown, Pat Ormsbee, Rick Perry, MH Wolfe Associates, Rio Frio Flight tours, Rio Frio Lodging, Sherry Tolman Speleobooks, Steve Logsden, Titley Scientific, and Turkeys Unlimited. Website and online registration: Erinn Shirley, USDI Bureau of Land Management Audio/Visual: Diana Foss and Jesus Franco, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Special thanks to: Ed Arnett, Rebecca Patterson, Brad Phillips, Pat Ormsbee, Toni Piaggio, Cori Lausen, Nyta Hensley, Dan Taylor, Alisha Shah, Mike Warner, and Emily Davis Wednesday April 15, 2009 Social Poolside & Congress Ave Bridge Emergence Mexican free-tailed bat emergence. (Kristi DuBois Photo) WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 15
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 16 Thursday April 16, 2009 Welcome and opening remarks Pat Ormsbee, Western Bat Working Group President (outgoing) Bats and Wind Energy Assessing the impacts of wind turbines on bats : An overview of issues and contemporary research. Edward B. Arnett, Bat Conservation International, Austin, TX Bat migration and wind energy: Making the most of destructive sampling Erin F. Baerwald* and Robert M. R. Barclay, Depart ment of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Canada Bat monitoring at Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, and their interaction with wind farms Rafael Villegas Patraca, Institute of Ecology, Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico Bats of northeastern British Columbia overlap with wind farm projects Rhonda L. Millikin*, EchoTrack Inc., Vancouver, B.C., Canada Assessing bat activity and bat fatalities at wind-energy facilities in Germany Ivo Niermann*, Oliver Behr, and Robe rt Brinkmann, Leibniz Universitt Hannover, Institute of Environmental Planning; Universi ty of Erlangen-Nrnberg, Depart ment of Zoology; Universitt Hannover, Institute of Environmental Planning Ideas on using forest management practices to reduce potential bat/turbine interactions in forest landscapes Cris D. Hein*, and Todd J. Mabee, ABR, Inc.-Environmental Research and Services, Forest Grove, OR Roosting Ecology The domino effect: Biological significance of Rose Guano Cave Nevada for the long term conservation of northern colonies of Mexican freetail bats ( Tadarida brasiliensis ) J. T. Agee*, J. A. Williams, J. Schmitt, R. E. Sherwin, M. Herder, and D. Waldien, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA 1,3,4 ; Nevada Department of Wildlife, Ely, NV; Bureau of Land Management, Ely, NV; Bat Conser vation International, Austin, TX Using radio-telemetry to unders tand a migratory population of Tadarida brasiliensis in the Great Basin of Nevada Jason A. Williams*, Richard E. Sh erwin, and Michael J. Herder, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Ely, NV; Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA; Bureau of Land Management, Ely, NV Thermal ecology of roosting bats in Nevada: Implications for management R. E. Sherwin* and A. Loftis, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA Three dimensional models of roost use by the bats of Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada M. Villanueva*, S. Skalak, J. Agee, M. Brigham, and R. Sherwin; Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA 1,3,5 ; University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada 2,4 Activity patterns of cave myotis ( Myotis velifer ) at two southern Arizona hibernacula Debbie C. Buecher* and Ronnie Sidner, Buecher Biological Consulting, Tucson, AZ; Ecological Consulting/University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Townsends big eared bats on Santa Cruz Island: Preserving historic structures as critical habitat for a rare species Patricia E. Brown*, Robert D. Berry, Cathy Schwemm and Tim Coonan. Brown-Berry Biological Consulting; University of California, Santa Barbara; Channel Islands National Park, Ventura, CA The business of building bat gates at abandoned mine lands in Nevada Katie Erin G. Miller* and Jason Williams, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Elko, NV; Nevada Department of Wildlife, Ely, NV Bracken Cave field trip Friday April 17, 2009 Population Ecology Bracken Cave. (Kristi DuBois Photo) Population genetic study of Desmondus rotundus in an area of high rabies incidence in cattle, San Luis Potos State, Mexico Antoinette Piaggio*, Ignacio Amezcua Osorio, Alejandro Jimnez Ramrez, Luis Lecuona; USDA/WS/National Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins, CO; Bovine Paralytic Rabies Campaign Coordinator. Pecuary Committee, San Luis Potosi State, Mexico; Coordinator of the National Campaign of Paralytic Rabies in Bovines (SAGARPA). Mexico City; USDA/APHIS/IS NAR Mexico, Mexico City Assessing the use of a night vision camcorder as a method for determining population estimates of the Townsends big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii) at Lewis and Clark Caverns, Montana Todd Caltrider, Kristi L. DuBois*, and Kerry R. Foresman. College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, Missoula, MT; Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Missoula, MT; University of Montana, Missoula, MT Bat banding: Trials and tribulations for estimating survival over a landscape scale Robert A. Schorr*, Laura E. Ellison, and Paul M. Lukacs, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO ; USGS BRD, Fort Collins, CO; Colorado Division of Wildlife, Fort Collins, CO Dispersal and philopatry of prairie bat species: Understanding the influence of river valleys on bat movement using landscape genetics Cori L. Lausen*, Isabelle Delisle, Robert M.R. Barclay and Curtis Strobeck, University of Calgary, Dept. of Biological Sciences and Birchdale Ecological Ltd., Kaslo, B.C.; University of Alberta, Campus Saint-Jean, Edmonton, AB; University of Calgary, Dept. Biological Sciences, Calgary, AB; University of Alberta, Dept. Biological Sciences, Edmonton, AB. Inventory, Monitoring and Habitat Use by Bats Seasonal range maps for western red bats (Lasiurus blossevillii) in California and wintering western red bat in red gum eucalyptus (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) leaf litter Dave S. Johnston* and Susan Whitford. H. T. Harvey & Associates, Los Gatos, CA; MCB Camp Pendleton, San Diego Co., CA WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 17
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 18 Using pseudo-absence models to evaluate land scape level patterns of bat distributions in Utah Joel M. Diamond*, Robert N. Knight, Lauren B. Wilson, Kimberly Asmus Hersey, and Ben Sutter; General Dynamics, Inc., Natural Resources Program Manager; U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground Biologist; U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground, Sensitive Species Biologist, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources; Database Zoologist, Utah Natura l Heritage Program Morphometrics and plasticity in echolo cation calls of little brown bats ( Myotis lucifugus) at the northern edge of their range Cori L. Lausen*, Jennifer M. Talerico, Lea A. Randall, Thomas S. Jung, Brian G. Slough, David W. Nagorsen, Doug Burles, and Laura Friis, Birchdale Ecological Ltd., Kaslo, B.C.; University of Calg ary, Calgary, AB; University of Calgary and Environment Yukon; Environment Yukon, White horse, Yukon; Whitehorse, Yukon; Mammalia Consulting, Victoria, B.C.; Parks Canada, Sandspit, Haida Gwaii; B.C. Ministry of Environment, Victoria, B.C. Using vein patterns in the tail and wing memb ranes of bats for species-level and individuallevel identification Greg Falxa, Cascadia Resear ch Collective, Olympia, WA Hosted Lunch (WBWG business meeting) Bat Conservation Strategies Thirsty bats and dwindling water; evaluating, restoring, and creating safe and accessible water sources for bats and oth er wildlife in the arid west Daniel Taylor, Bat Conservation International, Austin, TX South Dakota bat book project Bradley Phillips* and Joel Tigner, UDSA Forest Service, Rapid City, SD; Batworks, LLC., Rapid City, SD What bat ate that? Youre guano love it! WBWG curriculum dbuts at the National Science Teachers Association conference in Portland Aimee Hart*, Deborah Crough, and Michelle Caviness, USDI BLM, Lakeview, OR; Santa Ana USD, Golden West College Huntington Beach, CA; USDI BLM, Vale, OR Results of a workshop, Conserv ing North American bat diversity Mary K. Clark, Angela McIntire*, Tim Snow, Rodrigo Medellin, Pat Orms bee, Jamie Stewart, and Michael Herder; Southeastern Bat Diversity Network, Rale igh, NC; Arizona Game and Fish Department 2,3 ; Instituto de Ecologia, UNAM; USFS, Eugene OR; OMNR, Canada; USDI BLM, Ely, NV Planning for climate change in western North America Mark A. Hayes* and Rick A. Adams, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO A primer on White Nose Syndrome, its effects on hibernating bat colonies in the northeastern U.S., and the significance to the west Patricia C Ormsbee and Paul Cryan USFS and BLM Regional Bat Specialist, Eugene, OR; U. S. Geological Survey Fort Collins Science Center Poster and Technology Sessions Silent and Verbal Auction
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 19 Saturday April 18, 2009 Working session: Raising awareness and prevention for White Nose Syndrome in the west The objective of this session is to draft our collaborative vision of a strategy to increase the awareness and prevention of spreading WNS to th e west. The output will be a draft action plan that will be used by the WBWG WNS committee to take action on this issue. In addition to WBWG members, we will have participati on from grotto members and the National Speleological Society. After a brief introduction to the session, we will break in to facilitated working groups to address collaboration with the caving community, educa tional tools and public relations needs, site restriction recommendations, stat e/provincial working group roles, inventory and monitoring, research issues, and review and update of current WBWG WNS recommendations. Breakout groups will reconvene as one group and present their input which al so will be submitted to the WBWG WNS committee for synt hesis, further development, and implementation. Presentation Abstracts The domino effect: Biological significance of Rose Guano Cave Nevada for the long term conservation of northern colonies of Mexican freetail bats ( Tadarida brasiliensis ) J. T. Agee*, J. A. Williams, J. Schmitt, R. E. Sherwin, M. Herder, and D. Waldien, email@example.com Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA1,3,4; Nevada Department of Wildlife, Ely, NV; Bureau of Land Management, Ely, NV; Bat Conservation International, Austin, TX Rose Guano Cave, located roughly 40 miles east of Ely, Nevada has a long history of use by Mexican freetail bats. While neither a large, nor impressive cave, the site has realized sufficiently intense and prolonged hi storical use by this species th at internal guano deposits were mined in two discrete cycles. Historical accounts of the exact nature of use vary, with early records indicating maternity use, while more recent surveys indicat e fall migratory use by bachelor males and non-reproductive females. Ther e has been no standardized monitoring of the site, and estimates of colony sizes range from as few as a few hundred individuals to over 500,000. Despite the lack of clarit y on the exact demography of or size of the roosting colony, there has been a general agreement that the si te is only occupied by this species from midsummer to early fall. In this study we are attempting to 1) gain an understanding of exactly how and when T. brasiliensis utilize the cave, 2) developing standardized methods for determining colony size, 3) investigate group cohesion, 4) gain a better unde rstanding of how individuals from the cave utilize the landscap e surrounding the cave, and 5) unde rstand the significance of Rose Guano Cave as part of th e contextual roosting landscape of T. brasiliensis Initial data indicate that the cave is used as part of a migratory co rridor, through which hundreds of thousands of bats continually flow. This has pr ofound implications regarding the significance of Rose Guano Cave, as any perturbations at the cave will directly impact seasonal migrants from a potentially vast geographical area.
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 20 Assessing the impacts of wind turbines on bats : An overview of issues and contemporary research Edward B. Arnett, Bat Conserva tion International Austin, TX Unexpectedly high numbers of bat fatalities reporte d at wind energy facilities on ridge tops in the eastern United States, and more recently in open prairies of southern Al berta, have heightened the urgency to understand problems and identify solutions. Here, I present an overview of key issues surrounding wind energy development and bat fatality, the extent of the problem, our current state of knowledge, and provide an update on current research efforts of the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative ( www.batsandwind.org ). Bat migration and wind energy: Making the most of de structive sampling. Erin F. Baerwald* and Robert M. R. Barclay, De partment of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Canada Bat fatalities at wind energy facilities offer the potential for insights into bat migration because the majority of such fatalities involve migrat ory tree-roosting bats during fall migration. Using a combination of acoustic and fatality monitoring at several wind energy facil ities across southern Alberta, Canada, we examined patterns and variat ion in migratory-bat acti vity and fatality. At a broad-scale, we found that activit y and fatality of migratory bats varied among sites, suggesting that, rather than migrating south randomly or evenly over a wide East-West area, bats concentrate along select rout es. Activity rates of both Lasiurus cinereus and Lasionycteris noctivagans were higher near the foothills of the Ro cky Mountains to the West than on the prairie grasslands further east. At a finer-scale (i.e. at an i ndividual wind energy facility), we found that migratory-bat activity and fatality were often correla ted and varied with weather variables. Activity of migratory bats was greater in low wind speeds, higher ambient temperatures and greater moon illumination, while fatality of migr atory bats was greater in low wind speeds, with greater moon illumination, and w ith falling barometric pressure. Investigating bat activity and fatalities at wind energy facilities not only addre sses the applied issue, but has the potential to increase our knowledge of basic bat biology. Townsends big eared bats on Santa Cruz Island: Preserving historic structures as critical habitat for a rare species Patricia E. Brown*, Robert D. Berry, Cathy Schwemm and Tim Coonan. Brown-Berry Biological Consulting, 134 Eagle Vista, Bishop, CA 93514 USA ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106 ( email@example.com ), Channel Islands National Park, 1901 Spinnaker Dr., Ventura, CA 93001-4354 USA ( Tim_Coonan@nps.gov ). A maternity colony of Townsends big-eared bat ( Corynorhinus townsendii ) roosts in the adobe at Scorpion Anchorage on Santa Cruz Island. Because the adobe is an historic structure, this situation presents challenges for preserving and interpreting a cultural resource that is also critical habitat for a rare mammal. Efforts to preserve the building may have disturbed the bats, as could future plans for in terpretive use of the adobe. Corynorhinus typically roost in caves or cave-like structures and are very sensitive to hu man disturbance. The species has declined in numbers across the western United States, particularly in coastal California. Several causative factors have been identified, a nd roost disturbance or destruct ion appears to be the most important. The authors have monitored the popula tion in the Scorpion adobe since 1994. Since 2005 the population has declined by almost 50%. A 1994 telemetry study determined that these
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 21 bats foraged at least seven kilometers from the coastal roost in native vegetation in an area with many small natural caves. Although these caves we re used for night roosts, the bats exhibited high fidelity to the adobe as a day roost. Thermal data-loggers were placed for a year in the adobes at Scorpion and Smugglers Cove, and in coastal and inland caves. The Scorpion adobe provides a warmer environment during the matern ity season, and this may be a reason for the bats preference. The purposes of the current rese arch are to monitor th e resident bat population at Scorpion Ranch; to survey for additional co lonies on SCI; to provide recommendations for protecting the colony from distur bance; and to develop and to develop guidelines for future management of both the bat and the cultural resources. Activity patterns of cave myotis ( Myotis velifer ) at two southern Arizona hibernacula Debbie C. Buecher* and Ronnie Sidner, firstname.lastname@example.org Buecher Biological Consulting, Tucson, AZ; Ecological Consulting/University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ We monitored two high elevation pit-cave ba t hibernacula from August 2006 April 2008 to determine seasonal use, ac tivity patterns and hibernal ecology of cave myotis ( Myotis velifer) in southern Arizona. We installed passive infr ared bat counters to document the approximate period that cave myotis move from summer roos ts to winter hibernation sites. Cave myotis appeared to arrive in large numbe rs in late August but high activity levels by bats at these two sites in the fall also suggest autumnal mating activity. We conducted periodic emergence counts at both sites to cal ibrate the automatic IR counters and to confirm population sizes. From these visits we were able to document predation on emerging cave myotis by a Mexican spotted owl ( Strix occidentalis lucida ). Analysis of temperatures at both sites suggest that hibernating cave myotis use sites with more stable cold temperatures ( 7.7 o C 0.40C) and high humidity (~100%) during winter months. We also determined when bats began to arouse and move from these caves to summer roosts in the spring. Our passive techniques provided information regarding activity patterns, population size and s easonal movement patterns for two remote high elevation caves. Due to negative impacts on col onial bats from human vi sitation at roosts, we strongly suggest these or similar passive techniques be used to monitor winter bat hibernacula and/or summer maternity sites. Assessing the use of a night vision camcor der as a method for determining population estimates of the Townsends big-eared bat ( Corynorhinus townsendii ) at Lewis and Clark Caverns, Montana Todd Caltrider, Kristi L. DuBois*, and Kerry R. Foresman. College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, Missoula, MT.; email@example.com Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Missoula, MT; University of Montana, Missoula, MT Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park in southwestern Montana hosts a maternity colony of Townsends big-eared bats (Corynorhinus townsendii ), which has apparently declined during the last decade. However, we have been unable to get accurate estimates of the total population and rate of decline due to the difficulty in obtaini ng accurate counts of a tightly-packed bat colony. Our objective was to analyze the use a Sony Nightshot video came ra to get population estimates of the Townsends big-eared bat colony with mi nimal disturbance. The maternity colony was filmed a total of 15 times during summer of 2007 The resulting videos were downloaded into a computer and analyzed to locate frames that could be used to count the number of bats present in the colony. The countable frames were then export ed to Microsoft Paint, where the bats in the cluster were marked and counted. Each frame was counted 5 different times. The variance between each frame was measured to assess the a ccuracy of the method. The overall ability of
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 22 the method to detect changes in population due to birth was also asse ssed by measuring the average number of bats counted before and after the birth of the pups. The ability to get precise estimates of the population size was good, with an SE of .77 (pre birth) and .189 (post birth). This method will provide a consistent way to document population size of this colony over time. Results of a workshop, Conserv ing North American bat diversity Mary K. Clark, Southeastern Bat Diversity Ne twork, Raleigh, NC, Angela McIntire*, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Tim Snow, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Rodrigo Medellin, Instituto de Ecologia, UNAM, Pat Ormsbee, USFS, Eugene, OR, Jamie Stewart, OMNR, Canada, Michael Herder, USDI BLM, Ely, NV Special interest groups representi ng birds, fishes, herpetofauna and other taxa have organized nationally and internationally to achieve greater success through collaborative conservation efforts for their respective groups. The resulting part nership coalitions, such as Partners in Flight and the North American Fish Habitat Initiative have successfully achie ved implementation of large-scale or continent-wide conservation strate gies to address landscape scale and cross-border challenges. A need for such a collaborative effo rt for bats has long been recognized. Bats as a group face a growing number of conservation pressures in North America. Of the 16 species shared by the three countries, at least a dozen cross Canadian, U. S. and Mexican borders. Progress at the national and international leve ls will require coordina ted communication on bat conservation needs to key decision makers; in addition new funding initiatives such as State Wildlife Action Plan funds provide new opportunities for bats that can only be utilized through an organized and coordinated efforts. For the last four years, an in itiative to promote bat conservation across North America has been presented to the Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management, which facilitates cooperation and coordination among wildlife agencies of the three nations. Th e Trilateral Committee endor sed the initiative as a priority in 2007 and 2008. In a ddition, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, which represents North Americas fish and wildlife agen cies, also supported the need to organize a new bat conservation initiative. In 2008 funding was secured from state, federal and nongovernmental organizations to support a workshop to develop a continental conservation effort for bats. The workshop was held at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in August, and was attended by a diverse group of ba t conservationists who drafted a mission statement, identified goals and objectives, and outlined an infrastructure that will allow planning input from a diverse group of interests. Participants included repr esentatives from each of the three countries, state/provincial and federal ag encies, industry and private orga nizations. Follow-up action items include seeking more widespread input, collaboration and endorsement for this initiative, as well as developing a strategic North American bat conservation plan. What bat ate that? Youre guano love it! WBWG curriculum dbuts at the National Science Teachers Association conference in Portland Aimee Hart*, Deborah Crough, and Michelle Caviness, USDI BLM, Lakeview, OR; Santa Ana USD, Golden West College, Huntington Beach, CA; USDI BLM, Vale, OR The curriculum group was selected by NSTA to present educational materials at the regional conference in November, 2008. We managed to capture an audience of approximately 75 educators in a tough time slot and presented hands-on lab ex perience and shared materials developed for WBWG. We will report on successe s, teacher needs, current work, and plans for location of funding sources for future projects.
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 23 Using pseudo-absence models to evaluate land scape level patterns of bat distributions in Utah Joel M. Diamond*, Robert N. Knight, Lauren B. Wilson, Kimberly Asmus Hersey, and Ben Sutter; General Dynamics, Inc., Natural Re sources Program Manager; U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground Biologist; U.S. Army Dugway Pr oving Ground, Sensitive Species Biologist, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources; Databas e Zoologist, Utah Natural Heritage Program U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources teamed up to coordinate a Legacy Resource Management Program funded, three-year approach to managing bats in Utah. The management of bat populations on a regional scale requir es the integration of historical distributional data ac ross species. This Department of Defense initiative consolidated 103 years of spatially informed data to create descriptive habitat models for 18 bat species in Utah. This data set consisted of records for 28,629 individual bats and 13,895 events. With the use of the existing tessellated Grid in Utah we divided the state into over 2100, 20 X 20 km hexagonal cells. The bat records for each cell were then used to create a presence or pseudoabsence across species for each cell. We used cal culated and recorded covariates to create a descriptive multiple linear regression analysis. Up to 17 distinct A priori models were created for each species and evaluated with Akaikes Inform ation Criterion (AIC) wei ghts to select models with a high degree of fit and parsimony in relati onship with the distribut ion of bat populations. Preliminary findings indicate relationships between climatic, geologic and landform variables and communities of bat species. Th is analysis provides a descriptive model of bat distributions in Utah that can be used to aid in the manage ment of bat species, populations and communities. Using vein patterns in the tail and wing memb ranes of bats for species-level and individuallevel identification Greg Falxa, Cascadia Research Collective, Olympia, WA Several pairs of bat species in the Western U.S. can be troublesome to distinguish in the field. Recent papers have described a method for distin guishing similarly cryptic myotis species pairs in Japan, using the differences in the shape of a vein clearly visibl e in the interfemoral membrane. I have started photographing this vein of captured L ittle Brown bats ( Myotis lucifugus) and Yuma Myotis bats ( M. yumanensis ), one of these cryp tic pairs. I present preliminary results which show that this techni que may prove useful, but a larger and broader sample set is needed for analysis and eval uation. I devised an easil y duplicated method for photographing these veins, which can be used by other researchers inte rested in building a sample set needed for the development of this method. I also evaluated the uniqueness of vein patterns visible in bats wing membranes. Th ese dendritic patterns although similar among individuals, appear unique to in dividual bats, much like fingerprint or retinal patterns in humans. I describe the method used for cataloging Blue and Humpback whale identification photographs, a system which enables whale researchers to perform mark-recapture and migration analysis. Applied to bats, this non-invasive method may, with the development of a cataloging system, allow for individual-level identification of recaptured bats without the adverse effects of banding.
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 24 Planning for climate change in western North America Mark A. Hayes* and Rick A. Adams Hayes4932@bears.unco.edu, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO Western North America is experiencing rapid climate changes resulting in environmental modification with potentially si gnificant influences on bat speci es of conservation concern. However, the precise affects of climate change s on local bat populations are unknown. Here, we consider potential steps toward planning for climate change in western North America and discuss steps we are initiating in Colorado to pl an for a hotter, drier climate in the Southern Rocky Mountains. These steps include: identifying and protecting maternity colonies of sensitive species; monitoring and conserving water resour ces near maternity sites; collecting and maintaining data sets regarding the reproductive status of sensitive bat species; and seeking expert information on the best climate models for predicting current and future climate change in our region. Ideas on using forest management practices to reduce potential bat/turbine interactions in forest landscapes Cris D. Hein*, and Todd J. Mabee, ABR, Inc.-E nvironmental Research and Services, Forest Grove, OR As wind development continues to increase in forest landscapes, it is important to understand how management practices influence the struct ure and dynamics of bat populations. Bat activity in and around forests is a function of numerous factors, including degree of structural clutter, availability of water and insect prey, and amount of suitable roos ting habitat. Thus, altering stand conditions through forest management can imp act overall bat presence activity and species diversity. For example, creating small forest openings or increasing edge habitat typically enhances commuting and foraging opportunities for bats. Such favorable conditions often are created during road construction a nd turbine siting at wi nd-energy facilities in forest landscapes. In this discussion, we consider ideas to potentially decr ease bat/turbine inte ractions at project sites by using forest management practices that discourage bat presence. In addition, we present data from several night-visions optic studies examining bat behavi or near meteorol ogical towers to address several attraction hypotheses. Seasonal range maps for western red bats ( Lasiurus blossevillii ) in California and wintering western red bat in red gum eucalyptus (Eucalyptus camaldulensis ) leaf litter Dave S. Johnston* and Susan Whitford, firstname.lastname@example.org H. T. Harvey & Associates, 983 University Ave., Los Gatos, CA; MCB Camp Pendleton, San Diego Co., CA We used GIS-based ArcVie w 9 and western red bat ( Lasiurus blossevilli ) location records from the California Natural Diversity Data Base, museum records, and capture and acoustic data from E. Pierson, W. Rainey, C. Corben, D. Johnst on, D. Stokes, S. Whitford, and S. Remington and various reports to predict seas onal ranges in California. La nd cover attributes, political boundaries, and records were combin ed into a single table. GAP polygons that showed only the primary wildlife habitat relationship (WHR) vege tation community were used to generate the GIS-based range maps. The breeding (summe r female and young) range comprised valley foothill woodland habitats in the Central and Salinas valleys, and in coastal areas of Southern California. The male summer range included th e Sierra Nevada and ot her mountainous regions adjacent to the female young summer range. The winter range was mostly limited to the San Francisco Bay Area, the Delta and central portion of the Central Valley, and coastal areas with
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 25 valley foothill riparian habitat. Additionally, we documented locations and habitats of 2 wintering western red bats in non-native river eucalyptus ( Eucalyptus camaldulensis ) leaf litter. For 20 randomly selected points of this leaf lit ter habitat we determined a mean thickness of 9.9 cm, SE = 0.82; a mean distance of 1.31 m to the nearest tree >20 cm, SE = 0.20; and 5 of the 20 points were relatively dry after heav y rains. These data suggest that the leaf litter from groves of non-native eucalyptus potentially provide valuable winter roosti ng habitat for the western red bat. Dispersal and philopatry of prairie bat species: Understanding the influence of river valleys on bat movement using landscape genetics Cori L. Lausen*, Isabelle Delisle, Robert M.R. Barclay and Curtis Strobeck, email@example.com University of Calgary, Dept. of Biological Sciences and Birchdale Ecological Ltd., Kaslo, B.C.; University of Alberta, Campus Saint-Jean, Edmonton, AB; University of Calgary, Dept. Bi ological Sciences, Calgary, AB; University of Alberta, Dept. Biological Sciences, Edmonton, AB. Given their ability to fly, one might expect bats to be relatively uninfluenced by landscape structure, similar to non-sedentary birds. We investigated whether pr airie landscape features shape bat movement, dispersal and consequently genetic population structure. We tested the hypothesis that degree of mobility and habitat speci ficity affect bat genetic population structure by comparing three species of bats (big brown, Eptesicus fuscus; little brown, Myotis lucifugus; western small-footed, M. ciliolabrum ) in southern Alberta and nor th-central Montana, where river valleys are the dominant landscape featur e. Using both nuclear DNA microsatellites and mitochondrial DNA sequences, we found varying degr ees of structure according to rivers and river systems, with E. fuscus displaying the least am ount of genetic structure associated with rivers, and M. ciliolabrum displaying the greatest degree of structuring by river topography. We concluded that greater flight abili ty corresponded to less genetic stru cture, and that specificity for rock-roosts in the prairies may cause greater dependency on rivers as movement corridors. As riparian cottonwoods continue to disappear, a nd drought puts additional pr essure on governments to dam and divert rivers, the prairie landscape is almost certain to change in a way that will influence many species, including bats. Morphometrics and plasticity in echolo cation calls of little brown bats ( Myotis lucifugus) at the northern edge of their range Cori L. Lausen*, Jennifer M. Talerico, Lea A. Randall, Thomas S. Jung, Brian G. Slough, David W. Nagorsen, Doug Burles, and Laura Friis, Birchdale Ecological Ltd., Kaslo, B.C.; University of Calg ary, Calgary, AB; University of Calgary and Environment Yukon; Environment Yukon, White horse, Yukon; Whitehorse, Yukon; Mammalia Consulting, Victoria, B.C.; Parks Canada, Sands pit, Haida Gwaii; B.C. Ministry of Environment, Victoria, B.C. Little brown bats ( Myotis lucifugus ) reach the northern edge of th eir range in Yukon, Canada. At higher latitudes they encounter short, luminous nights, relative to conspecifics at lower latitudes. M. lucifugus is often the only bat found in an ar ea, and they face less competition with ecomorphologically similar species w ith slightly different ecological niches. We were interested in how morphology and echolocation-call characte ristics may be influenced by environmental conditions in the North, and the lack of competition with congeners. In 2007 and 2008, echolocation calls were recorded from captured M. lucifugus at various locations in western Canada, via frequency divisi on detectors. Calls of M. lucifugus in the Yukon were found to be steeper than conspecifics further south. Because steeper calls tend to be associated with long-
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 26 eared bats flying among clutter, we ex amined ear length. We found that Yukon M. lucifugus had longer ears than conspecifics in B.C.; this piece of evidence together with observations of these bats foraging more often in clu tter, and less often in the open, supports the observation that little brown bats in the North have e volved echolocation-call designs to forage in cluttered habitats, possibly in response to an elevated predation risk associated with high light levels. We also report a south-north cline in forear m length, similar to that found for M. lucifugus in the prairies. The business of building bat gates at abandoned mine lands in Nevada Katie Erin G. Miller* and Jason Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org Nevada Department of Wildlife, Elko, NV; Nevada Department of Wildlife, Ely, NV The state of Nevada has a long a nd colorful history of hard rock mining. There are an estimated 200,000 historic mine features. This unparalleled number of abandoned mine lands requires a proactive and effective approach to manage these unique biological resources. The Nevada Department of Wildlife has partnered with th e Bureau of Land Management, the US Forest Service, the Nevada Division of Minerals, mining companies, biol ogical consultants, and private land owners to identify and lo cate abandoned mines, conduct biological surveys, identify and pool financial resources, and secure abandoned mines important to roosting bats with bat compatible gates. Our methodology and cooperative approach to resource management has been successful in the state of Nevada and can be used as a template for resource managers in other states and provinces to protect bat resources We will present an overview of our program, including its successes and failures. Bats of northeastern British Columbia overlap with wind farm projects Rhonda L. Millikin* email@example.com EchoTrack Inc., Vancouver, B.C., Canada This talk examines the effect of geography on the distribution and diversity of bats, particularly for species at risk to a collision with wind turbine blades. Bat activity was monitored from mountain ridge to valley bottom in three areas of potential wind development, during the spring and fall. Radar and Acoustic samples were taken fr om sunset to sunrise, analyzed for species and expressed as the number of passes per minute for acoustics, and number of flights within or outside of the blade sweep area, 6.7 km3 for radar. Six species of bats were recorded; Little brown bat, Myotis lucifugus Long-legged myotis, Myotis volans Northern long-eared bat, Myotis septentrionalis Big brown bat/Silver-haired bat, Eptesicus fuscus / Lasionycteris noctivagans, Eastern red bat, Lasiurus borealis and Hoary bat, Lasiurus cinereus The Little brown bat was most widely distributed in fall an d the only species recorded in spring. The Hoary bat and the Silver-haired bat, species reported to be sensi tive to wind development, were less common. Flight activity peaked at 20 to 50 minutes after sunset. Bat heights averaged 143 m. Bat diversity is low in spring and bat flight is rest ricted to the valleys. In fall, bats fly higher in elevation in forested habitat.
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 27 Assessing bat activity and bat fatalities at wind-energy facilities in Germany Ivo Niermann*, Leibniz Universitt Hanno ver, Institute of Environmental Planning, firstname.lastname@example.org ; Oliver Behr, University of Erlangen-Nrnberg, Department of Zoology, email@example.com ; Robert Brinkmann, Leibniz Universitt Hannover, Institute of Environmental Plann ing, firstname.lastname@example.org We will present preliminary results of a research project that aims to establish methods of examining and quantifying the risk of turbine-caused bat fatalities at onshore wind-energy plants in Germany. We were particularly interested in determining whether a correlation exists between acoustic bat activity in a wind turbines rotor-swept area and the number of fatalities found at its base. Therefore, we conducted acoustic monitori ng at seven wind-energy facilities in different regions of Germany throughout 2007. In 2008, bat dete ctors continuously samp led bat activity at a total of 35 German wind-energy facilities. Two synchronized infrared cameras were used in a standard stereo-view set-up to test the range of the bat detectors in use and to provide a comparison of the acoustic and visual recordi ng techniques. In 2008, we also successfully developed and implemented a remote data download via GPRS for the Anabat SD1 detectors we used in some of the plants nacelles. Simu ltaneously, ground searches were performed at selected wind parks in order to estimate the extent of wind turbine-related bat mortality. The number of bat carcasses found on a given day wa s highly correlated to the acoustic activity measured during the previous night. Based on our data, parameters such as date (i.e. season), time of night, and wind speed enable a prediction of both the activity of various bat species and the occurrence of fatalities. Th is data set will therefore be used to propose site-specific mitigation measures consisting of periods of restricted turbine operation. A primer on White Nose Syndrome, its effects on hibernating bat colonies in the northeastern U.S., and the significance to the west Patricia C Ormsbee* and Paul Cryan USFS an d BLM Regional Bat Specialist, Eugene OR 97401, email@example.com ; U.S. Geological Survey Fort Collins Science Center White Nose Syndrome (WNS), named for the wh ite fungus evident on the faces, ears, and wing membranes of some victims, has decimated hibernating colonies of bats in the northeastern US. In 2006, bats were first observed leaving a hibern aculum in-mass during daylight in the cold of February in Schoharie County, New York. By 2008, a ll 28 hibernacula within a 130 km circle of the epicenter were affected by WNS and resulting colony mort alities were 81-97%. WNS has now been confirmed at locations in NY, VT MA, WV, VI, NH, and CT. Scientists have struggled to identify the cause of the aberrant be havior, starvation, and deat hs attributed to WNS. Through extensive collaborative investigations by State, Federal, and Private scientists, hypotheses have been formulated and testi ng initiated. A primary catalyst of current investigations has been the discovery of a psyc hrophilic (cold-loving) fungus colonizing the skin of bats collected from afflic ted sites. Tests on the rare fungus, have shown that it is phylogenetically related to Geomyces spp. and it thrives between 5-10 C, a temperature range that also is typical of bat hibernacula. Ther e is growing support that symptoms of WNS are associated with the cutaneous infection by this fungus. While the presence of WNS in the US is currently restricted to the east, human awareness a nd modified behavior are critical in limiting its potential spread.
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 28 South Dakota bat book project Bradley Phillips* UDSA Forest Service, Rapid City, SD; Joel Tigner Batworks, LLC., Rapid City, SD As part of our education goal, the South Dakota Bat Working Group has organized a BAT BOOK FUND to purchase a seri es of books for public elementa ry school libraries throughout South Dakota. This 12-book series is fully bound for library use and written for the 3rd 5th grade student. The books provide factual information about bats to kids in a fun and friendly manner. We believe kids that le arn the truth about bats grow up to be adults that understand and appreciate bats. To date the fund has supplie d 36 sets to elementary schools across South Dakota. The Western Bat Working Groups non-pro fit status allows individual tax deductible donations be made to the Book Fund. This program is now available for other State Bat Working Groups. Learn how. Bat monitoring at Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, and their interaction with wind farms Rafael Villegas Patraca, Institute of Ecology, Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico During a complete monitoring year 34 bat specie s were registered, these account for 40.47% of the bat species that occur in the state of Oax aca. The Insectivore dietary gild was the best represented, accounting for 47.50% of th e records. Ten of the identifi ed aerial insectivore species have high probabilities of collision with windmills due to its flight behavior, there are collision records at CE La Venta II wind farm of three in sectivore species that fly under the canopy level. This study provides the first record s of bat collisions in Mexico at a Wind Farm located at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. During two monitoring years at the Wind Farm a total of 206 bat carcasses have been reported. The species with most records of collision are Davys nakedbacked bat ( Pteronotus davyi ), Northern yellow bat ( Lasiurus intermedius ) and Ghost faced bat ( Mormoops megalophylla ); there are records of collisions for fifteen other species. First analyses do not show a particular spatia l pattern. There are scarce collisi on records for nectarivore and frugivore species, even when they are relatively abundant in the area. The information provided sets the baseline that will allow inferences regarding the impact on bats of wind farm development at a large scale at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region. Population genetic study of Desmondus rotundus in an area of high rabies incidence in cattle, San Luis Potos State, Mexico Antoinette Piaggio, Ph.D*, Ignacio Amezcua Osor io, Alejandro Jimnez Ramrez, DVM, Luis Lecuona, DVM, USDA/WS/National Wildlife Rese arch Center, Fort Collins, CO; Bovine Paralytic Rabies Campaign Coordinator. Pecuar y Committee, San Luis Potosi State, Mexico; Coordinator of the National Campaign of Paraly tic Rabies in Bovines (SAGARPA), Mexico City; USDA/APHIS/IS NAR Mexico, Mexico City The common vampire bat ( Desmodus rotundus ) feeds on mammalian blood and creates significant economic impacts through transmission of rabies to livestock. In a multi-year study we have investigated population dynamics of D. rotundus using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences and 12 microsatellites. In Mexi co field studies have revealed that D. rotundus populations may be expanding. Evidence of popula tion expansion from DNA is critical for providing confirmation. If populatio ns are expanding, vampire bat rabies outbreaks could occur in areas not previously consider ed at risk, including the USA/Me xico border region. Further, we wished to test for metapopulation dynamics am ong vampire bat populations as a dynamic that allows rabies, a fatal disease in bats, to be ma intained among vampire bat populations. To test for metapopulation dynamics and population expansion we have used samples collected from the
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 29 states of San Luis Potosi and Tamaulipas, Mexico where an outbreak of vampire bat rabies in livestock has occurred. The results of this study contribute to our understanding of D. rotundus population movements and allow us to infer how these bats move rabi es virus across the landscape. Bat banding: trials and tribulations for es timating survival over a landscape scale Robert A. Schorr*, Laura E. Ellison, and Paul M. Lukacs, firstname.lastname@example.org Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO ; USGS BRD, Fort Collins, CO; Colorado Division of Wildlife, Fort Collins, CO The recent evidence that wind farms are killing large numbers of ba ts has motivated interest in understanding what this loss means for bat popul ations. Recent proposals have suggested the implementation of broad-scale bat banding as a to ol for estimating these impacts and assessing relevant population parameters such as abundance and survival. We review the history of the bat banding effort focusing on the limitations of this technique and the like ly confounding effects of a marking method that can adversely impact the indi vidual. Also, we explor e the potential to use mark-recapture techniques to estimate broad-scale population parameters, presenting simulations of such data and the effort re quired to collect it. Based on the documented complications of banding and the sampling effort required to assess meaningful estimates of survival we feel certain that the costs, both monetarily and in terms of individual survival, may preclude using bat banding as a method for estimating the impact s of wind farms on a landscape scale. Thermal ecology of roosting bats in Nevada: implications for management R. E. Sherwin and A. Loftis; email@example.com Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA Bats attained powered flight as early as the Eocene (Onychonycteris finneyi52.5 mya) and they quickly radiated to fill the open niche space of primary volant, nocturnal, predator. The attainment of powered flight by bats required the evolutionary developments of small body size, high metabolic rates, and a unique, yet cons ervative body plan. These combinations of morphological and physiological traits that have made bats so e volutionarily successful have come at a cost, particularly in temperate regions of the globe, such as those encountered throughout much of the continental United States High surface-to-volume ratios translate into low energetic efficiency. Small body size, and high metabolic demands, coupled with the need to remain light, lead to water imbalances. And the eruptive and ephemeral nature of their insect prey leads to nightly and seasonal periods of energy stress. These factors, among others, have led to a general consensus that temperate bats will be profoundly limited in distribution, density, and demography by the availability of roost site s that provide benign cl imatic environments where individuals can roost without incurring physiological cost. This assumption has led to the development of habitat models wh ere roost quality is diagnosed ba sed on the thermal characters of the roost in question. These thermal m odels have been developed using hand held thermometers and climatic data loggers, which m easure the temperature of the air or substrate inside of a roost, and it is then generally assu med that the temperature of the bat will match that of the roost. In this study we tested the assumption that genera l thermal conditions inside of a roost (measured using traditional techniques) ar e truly indicative of microclimate conditions where bats are roosting. We used a variety of tools to test th is assumption, including climatic data loggers, thermal sensors and probes, and thermal imaging equipment. In this presentation we will discuss our findings, and specific management implications of these results for predicting roost use based on cour se climatic variables.
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 30 Thirsty bats and dwindling water; evaluating, restoring, and creating safe and accessible water sources for bats and oth er wildlife in the arid west. Daniel Taylor, Bat Conservation International, Austin, TX Bats are especially vulnerable to water shortages, sometimes losing up to 30% of their body weight daily to evaporative water loss, with pregnant and lactating individuals having the greatest need. In the most arid regions of North America, water may be more limiting than roosts to bat populations. Over the last century, the wester n U.S. has warmed at a faster rate than any region of the planet, resulting in a decrease in water av ailability and distri bution. This trend is likely to continue into the foreseeable future. During the same time, water sources developed for livestock have become a critical resource to ba ts and other wildlife. However, bats and other animals attracted to troughs and storage tanks often become trapped and drown if a suitable escape structure isnt installed, and low water le vels, and fencing and bracing, can make access difficult or impossible. Additionally most wildlife water developmen ts such as wildlife drinkers and guzzlers are accessible to few if any bat species. To address these issues, BCI and the Natural Resources Conservation Service created the Water for Wildlife Project. Over the last four years, the Project has raised awareness abou t the importance of these water sources to bats, and trained thousands of ranchers and range and wildlife managers in techniques for making them safer and more wildlife accessible. The Proj ect has now expanded its scope to develop and disseminate site and landscape-level methods fo r providing reliable and well-distributed water sources in proximity to ke y roosts and habitats. Three dimensional models of roost use by the bats of Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada M. Villanueva*, S. Skalak, J. Agee, M. Brigham, and R. Sherwin; firstname.lastname@example.org Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA 1,3,5 ; University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada 2,4 Even the most basic understanding of habit use by bats has been extremely hard to acquire. Their small size, nocturnal lifest yle, and ability to fly all serv e to confound those who attempt to truly understand patterns of habita t use. Researchers have generally been forced to either focus research attention at roosts, where bats are more sedentary, or use capture tools to intercept bats as they navigate through landscapes. Unfortunately these inte rception tools (mist nets, bat detectors, etc.) do not provide any informati on on where the animals were coming from, where they are traveling to, or what th eir presence in that part of th e landscape at time of capture may mean. Even radio telemetry, where individuals are tracked across landscapes over time, provides researchers with only limited ability to diagnose sub-landscape scale associations. Only rarely have multiple sampling tools been used c oncurrently to understand habitat use by bats. This general lack of complementary data has la rgely limited our ability to truly understand how bats utilize and move across landscapes. In th is study we are combining all traditional survey tools including continuous acoustic monitoring, mi st netting, roost surveys, and radio telemetry to study bat activity across the landscape of Ash Meadows NWR. Additionally we are developing and testing tools for videography at water sites, and a radar system which can track movements of bats through horizontal and vertical space. In this presentation we will discuss our first years findings along with objectives for our second year of data collection.
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 31 Using radio-telemetry to unders tand a migratory population of Tadarida brasiliensis in the Great Basin of Nevada Jason A. Williams*, Richard E. Sherwin, and Michael J. Herder, email@example.com, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Ely, NV ; Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA; Bureau of Land Management, Ely, NV We used radio telemetry during Fall 2008 to collect flight and dispersal information on a large colony of Brazilian free-tailed bats ( Tadarida brasiliensis ) occupying a natura l cave in eastcentral Nevada. Five successive week-long te lemetry sessions yielded data on 64 telemetered bats from 2,622 hours of field effort spanning both diurnal and fixe d-point nocturnal groundbased tracking, as well as daytime aerial telemetr y surveys. We found th e colony to be highly migratory, with residency periods lasting only a few days before in dividual bats continued their migration. Some bats were tracked more then 1 00 miles away from the capture site just 24 hours after release, while other indivi duals traveled east or west over multiple mountain ranges before migrating out of the study area. Telemetered bats rarely returned to th e roost cave on successive nights, and instead roosted elsewhere in the study area. Poster and Technology Session Abstracts Overview of the LCR MSCP and preliminary resul ts of bat monitoring at habitat creation sites Allen Calvert*, Susan Broderick, and Theres a Olson, firstname.lastname@example.org, Bureau of Reclamation, Boulder City, NV; email@example.com, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO; firstname.lastname@example.org, Bureau of Reclamation, Boulder City, NV The Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Cons ervation Program (LCR MSCP) is a 50-year cooperative Federal-State-Tribal-C ounty-Private effort to manage natural resources of the LCR watershed, provide regulatory relief for use of water resources, create native habitat types along the LCR, and monitor 31 covered species. Four covered bat species are being managed for and monitored: western red bat ( Lasiurus blossevillii), western yellow bat ( Lasiurus xanthinus ), California leaf-nosed bat ( Macrotus californicus ), and Townsends big-eared bat ( Corynorhinus townsendii ). Post-development monitoring of covered bat species is being completed at various habitat creation areas within a 196 mile stretch of the river from Needles, CA to Yuma, AZ. Monitoring includes both acoustic and capture surveys. Acoustic surveys are performed quarterly using Anabat bat detectors. A long term passive Anabat station was estab lished at one site in April of 2008. Capture surveys are conducted five times between late spring and early fall. A total of 16 species have been recorded acoustically, and 9 species have been captured. Both techniques have revealed a species from a site that had been previously unknown using the other technique. Together, the two survey techniques provide a good picture of bat use of each habitat creation site. These are preliminary data whic h will be used during the adaptive management process to further direct the monitoring of current habitat creation areas a nd to determine how to make created sites more suitable for bat use in the future.
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 32 Department of defense legacy initia tive and bat conservation in Utah Joel M. Diamond*, Robert N. Knight, Lauren B. Wilson, Kimberly Asmus Hersey, and Ben Sutter ; General Dynamics, Information Technology; Natural Resources Program Manager, U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground; Biologist, U.S. Army Dugw ay Proving Ground; Sensitive Species Biologist, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources; Dat abase Zoologist, Utah Natural Heritage Program Department of Defense (DoD) Legacy Resource Management Program (LRMP) funding enabled a broad scale analysis of bat ha bitat and species status in Utah and across DoD lands. The first iteration of Legacy funding in Utah allowed for th e consolidation of all known bat data in the State of Utah. The second iteration provided th e funding necessary for a frequency analysis of 103 years of data and the development of a Ut ah bat monitoring protocol. The third funding iteration will enable the implementation of the Utah based bat monitoring protocol. The consolidation of historical bat data in the state resulted in da ta for 19 species and 13,000 events. These data provided a baseline for monitoring, protoc ol development, risk assessment, and threat management for Utahs bat populations. The findings of this analysis were used to develop and implement the landscape scale bat monitoring prot ocol. This regional approach to managing bats within Utah and specifically understanding regional trends and patterns on DoD lands directly supports stewardship objectives, sustainable range priorities, and goals fundamental to sound land management policies. This effort was a partnership between U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground, the Utah Division of Wild life Resources, the LRMP, and the Utah Bat Conservation Cooperative. The Townsend's ear: An experimental method for improving the acoustic detection range of the whispering bats Greg Falxa, email@example.com ; Cascadia Research Collective, Olympia, WA Townsend's Big-eared bats and other long-eared bats tend to have quieter echolocation calls than most North American bats. While call detection technology and call analysis software has been steadily improving, the ability to detect these covert bats has not. Many bat researchers acknowledge that both acoustic-ba sed and net-based surveys suffer from false negatives, leaving Townsend's Big-eared bats under-represented in th ese surveys. I will demonstrate a simple bat detector accessory that can increase the detection range for these whispering bats built from items found in my refrigerator. When tested with pre-recorded Corynorhinus townsendii calls, broadcast from an ultrasonic playback unit ( AT800, Binary Acoustic Technology), I measured the received signal levels at various distances from the artificial bat unit, with and without the accessory in place. The reference signal leve l measured with a standard Pettersson D240x detector at 8.2 meters was achieved at 21.5 me ters when the range extender accessory was enabled. I could receive the simulated call 2.6 times farther when using the extender. The drawbacks of this device will be demonstrated as well; system is more directional when using the range extender accessory. "There's no such thing as a free lunch." Bat activity at tunnels and ab andoned mines on the Nevada Te st Site, south-central Nevada Derek B. Hall, National Security Te chnologies, LLC, Las Vegas, Nevada Exit surveys were conducted at 55 sites across the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Sites were active and inactive tunnels built in the midto late-1900s or abandoned mine adits and shafts that remain from mining operations conducted during th e early 1900s. Techniques used to detect bats at tunnel and mine entrances included direct capture using mist nets acoustic detectors to
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 33 record bat vocalizations, video-taping activity using a camera with NightSight technology, and visual observations with night vi sion goggles. A total of 68 bats, representing five species were captured, and 3,294 files were recorded containing calls of ten bat species. Three maternity roosts were discovered during the surv eys. Townsends big-eared bats ( Corynorhinus townsendii ) occurred at all three ro osts and fringed myotis ( Myotis thysanodes ) occurred at two of the three roosts. Several day roosts and night roosts/foraging sites were also documented. Bat activity was detected at all but two sites. Abandoned mines and tunnels are important biological resources that provide roosting and foraging habita t for at least ten of the fifteen bat species known to occur on the NTS. Testing of a new tethering method for reference call collec tion: Bat-kiting Cori L. Lausen*, Dave Nagorsen, Doug Burles, and Laura Friis, firstname.lastname@example.org Birchdale Ecological Ltd., Kaslo, B.C. V0G 1M0; Mammalia Consulting, Victoria, B.C.; Parks Canada, Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, Sandspit, B.C.; B.C. Ministry of Environment, Ecosystems Branch, Victoria, B.C. Obtaining representative acoustic reference calls from bats is challenging. While the recording of free-flying bats is most desi rable, obtaining reference calls fr om known free-flying individuals is difficult. Ensuring that a bat is successfully recorded often requires some form of tethering, such as zip-lining (J. Szewczak). We tested a new method of tethering bats for reference call recording, which we nick-named Bat-Kiting. This method, like zip-lining, involves placing a loosely tied elastic cord around the ba ts neck. Instead of attaching th e other end of this cord to a horizontal zip-line, we hold the spool of elastic thread, reeling out more line as the bat flies further/higher. In this way, the bat is subtly directed by the pers on holding the spool of cord, but is less confined in its flight pattern as it is al lowed to fly higher or further than the zip-lining method allows. The tether on zip-lines is typica lly <1.5 m, forcing the bat to fly close to the ground (<3 m), whereas Bat-Kited individuals ma y fly as much as 6 m above the ground. We hypothesized that different bat sp ecies respond differently to methods of tethering. Here we present preliminary findings, with a focus on reference calling of long-eared species of Myotis Winter, the other bat season: Obs ervations from Washington state Jon Lucas* and Greg Falxa, email@example.com AREVA Federal Services, Richland, WA; Cascadia Research, Olympia, WA We share our regional field observations of winter bat activity in Washington state, and encourage other researchers to conduct studie s during this season. We report on bats observed flying during winter months in two distinct regions: southeaste rn Washington (U.S. Dept. of Energy's Hanford site, latitude-46 degrees N.) and in Western Washington (southern Puget Sound, latitude47 degrees N.). Recorded acousti c data and temperature data was collected during the past several winters in the previously described regions and will be discussed in this presentation. Winter activity in southeastern Washington was an average of 1.67 calls per day (n=30 recording days) in December, and an average of 1.13 calls per day (n= 31 recording days) in January. December had calls recorded at least every day, whereas in January, calls were recorded approx. every 4 days. The lowest recorded temperature with associated call activity was approx. 8 degrees C. near the la tter part of January.
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 34 In western Washington, foraging observations of two species of bats were documented with acoustic monitoring during all winter months, from 2004 to 2009. Silver-haired and California Myotis bats have been observed active as low as 4 degrees C. and up to five hours after sunset, typically returning to the same feeding areas each night when the weat her was not severe. Studies during this time have been few, especially in the northern latitude s of North America, but to gain a fuller understanding of the ecology of bats in order to make better conservation and management decisions, studies during this season are greatly needed. Unforeseen challenges with the development of bat study designs for proposed wind energy facilities Perry, Rick L. M.H. Wolfe and Associates Environmental Consulting, Inc., Bakersfield, California In November of 2007, the California Energy Commi ssion (CEC) issued the final version of their California Guidelines to Minimize Impacts to Bi rds and Bats from Wind Energy Development. During the process of issuing draft versions of the document over a couple years, many proposed projects were faced with the challenge of attempting to create study designs while the requirements in the document changed on a nearly monthly basis. Prior to the completion of the guidelines, we developed a st udy design that would hopefully be close to the final CEC recommendations and at the same time provide informative data on the use of an area by all possible bat species. The difficulty in correlating bat occurrence detected in proposed wind farm areas with any resultant impacts has been disc ussed by many professionals However, we have discovered many other challenges in implementing study designs that are not necessarily related to any recommendations or legal requirements and which have not been discussed in the literature relative to designing the data collection and analyzing ultimately what is documented. These challenges included proj ect boundary changes throughout project design, theft and vandalism, excessive noise files created by wi nd for which the only solution can result in potentially important data losses, the problems that can arise in randomly selecting files for analysis and other issues. Some of these challenges can be overcome more easily than others; however, some can continue to create complications The need for early planning for bat studies in proposed wind farm areas is highly recommen ded based on our experiences. However, it must be realized that wind energy facility design by nature of the busines s and availability of equipment, must remain highly flexible, changing sometimes even after a permit is issued. Consequently, although necessary, advanced planning creates its own challenges in potential data analysis and interpretation. Isolation of microsatellite loci from the lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae ) and gene flow analysis between roosts in Arizona Ramirez, Judith,* Adrian Munguia, and Melanie Culver, firstname.lastname@example.org, School of Natural Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ The lesser long-nosed bat ( Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae ) is a nectarivore that migrates up to 1,500 km between wintering and breeding grou nds. Females mate in southern Mexico, and migrate to maternity roosts in nor thern Mexico and southern Arizona to give birth. We isolated microsatellite enriched DNA and obtained 96 cl one sequences, 46 of which had microsatellite repeats. We designed primers for 40 of th e sequences and obtained ten polymorphic microsatellite DNA markers for the lesser long-nosed bat. Microsate llites can be used to resolve finer scale population differentiati on, individual ID, as well as to determine the magnitude and directionality of gene flow. C onsequently, we will use these markers to determine if significant
WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 35 gene flow occurs between southwestern and southeastern Arizona roosts of the lesser long-nosed bat. In addition, we tested these markers on two other bats genus: Leptonycteris nivalis and Choeronycteris mexicana ; therefore, these markers could al so be used to resolve population genetic questions of L. nivalis and C. mexicana. Fix A Shaft Today (FAST!) Campaign Erinn Shirley, Abandoned Mine Lands Specialist, USDI BLM, Washington Office The Bureau of Land Management, the US Forest Service, the National Association of Abandoned Mine Lands Programs, the Nationa l Mining Association, and Bat Conservation International have collaborated to form a vol untary partnership focused on mitigating dangers posed by open shafts and other abandoned mine lands (AML) haza rds along off-highway vehicle trails and high-use areas in the southwestern st ates. Mine shafts on and near public lands pose serious hazards to outdoor enthus iasts. States in the southwes t have experienced an unsettling increase in OHV deaths and acci dents associated with open ab andoned mine shafts. Through unique partnerships the FAST! Campaign quickly and effectively addresses mine shafts before accidents happen. Modeled after successes ac hieved by the BLM in Nevada, the FAST! Campaign encourages stakeholders, volunteers, industry, and state and local governments to partner with the BLM in AZ, CA, UT, CO, and NM, through the donation of time, labor, and equipment necessary to address the NEPA issues, claimant rights, and construction needed to close dangerous mine shafts on public lands. Donating bats and tissue samples for genetic and oxygen isotope analyses Nancy B. Simmons*, Ariel Fleming, and Eileen Westwig, email@example.com, Department of Mammalogy, American Museum of nat ural History, New York, NY Genetic and isotope studies provi de unique data for understanding genetic diversity, geographic structure, population sizes, and mi gratory patterns of bats. This information is becoming critical for conservation efforts as bat populations are in creasing threatened by habitat loss, wind power development, and White Nose Syndrome (WNS). To facilitate ongoing re search, the American Museum of Natural History is actively soliciting donations of ba t specimens (including whole animals, tissue samples, hair samples, wing punche s, or any combination of these) for archiving and use by researchers. We have established a website ( http://research.amnh.org/ mammalogy/batgenetics/ ) containing all the information necessary to donate specimens. The primary requirement is that samples be collected legally (copies of permits are required before we can accept samples) It is not necessary for donated specimens to be fresh (i.e., from live animals) carcasses collected under wind turbines may be submitted, or samples from these specimens. We encourage individuals w ho are capturing bats for other reasons (e.g., ecological studies) to consider donating wing punche s from their study animals. The AMNH will provide free tissue sample tubes and free shipping of specimens (either samples or whole animals) to individuals interested in contributing. We are particularly interested in samples from migratory tree bats ( Lasiurus, Lasionycteris ), species affected by WNS (e.g., Myotis lucifugus ), and rare and endangered species (e.g., Myotis sodalis ) because these taxa are the focus of current research efforts, but sp ecimens of all taxa will be accepted. Donated specimens will be archived permanently and ma de available for use by qualified researchers from around the world.
Acoustic recording hardware and automated acoustic species classification using SonoBat Joseph M. Szewczak, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA Joe Szewczak, SonoBat developer, will demonstrate acoustic recording hardware and automated acoustic species classification using SonoBat software. WBWG 2009 BIENNIAL MEETING PHOTO GALLERY Photos by Kristi DuBois Mexican free-tailed bats leaving the Congress Avenue Bridge. Aimee and Bat Woman. Sage waits for orders from Ed Arnett to search fordead bats. Chris Corben demos the latest Anabat system. WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 36
Merlin Tuttle addressing the Western Bat Working Group. Bracken Cave BBQ--great food and friends. Mexican free-tailed bats. Bracken Cave bat emergence. Lisa Wilkinson and Erin Baerwald demonstrate the Bat Handshake. WBWG Newsletter, Spring 2009 Page 37
Letter From The Editors --
State/Provincial Updates ; Alaska ; British Columbia ;
California ; Montana ; New Mexico ; Nevada ; Multi-State --
Bob Berry Memorial Fund --
Upcoming Events --
Bats and Wind Energy Workshop --
WGWG 2009 Biennial Meeting Summary and Abstracts --
WGWG 2009 Biennial Meeting Photo Gallery.