Modified Cave Entrances: Thermal Effect on Body Mass and Resulting Decline of Endangered Indiana Bats (Myotis sodalis)

Citation

Material Information

Title:
Modified Cave Entrances: Thermal Effect on Body Mass and Resulting Decline of Endangered Indiana Bats (Myotis sodalis)
Series Title:
Conservation Biology
Creator:
Richter, Andreas R.
Humphrey, Steven R., Cope, James B.
Brack, Virgil Jr.
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Indiana Bats ( local )
Bats ( local )
Myotis Sodalis ( local )
Bat Decline ( local )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

Notes

Abstract:
Entrances to many caves occupied by the endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) have been modified to control human access. We show that modifying cave entrances can degrade the bats’ winter habitat, we demonstrate one mechanism by which this damage occurs, and we document a restoration experiment. We compared a large bar population in an unmodified cave with a small, reduced bat population in a cave with warm winter temperatures resulting from an entrance wall that impeded air exchange. In the modified cave, mean winter temperature at the hibernation site was 5.0° C higher than in the unmodified cave, bats entered hibernation at a 5% higher body mass, bats lost 42% more mass and the frequency distribution of late‐winter mass was truncated, with no bats weighing less than 5.4 g. The results describe unacceptable extremes for hibernation: subfreezing temperatures and warm temperatures causing mass‐loss rates of more than 0.009 g/day. Over a decade following removal of the entrance‐constricting wall, the population increased from 2,000 to 13,000 bats. Previous recommendations, based on common‐sense observation, to open blocked cave entrances are confirmed by this study. The similar case of Coach Cave, Kentucky, offers the potential for recovery of 100,000 Indiana bats.
Original Version:
Conservation Biology, Vol. 7, no. 2 (1993-06-01).

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.

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