Author ORCID Identifier

http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0288-5060

Year of Publication

2017

Degree Name

Master of Science in Forest and Natural Resource Sciences (MSFNRS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Forestry

First Advisor

Dr. Michael J. Lacki

Abstract

White-Nose Syndrome (WNS; Pseudogymnoascus destructans) is responsible for the regional population collapse of many cave-hibernating bat species, including the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), in eastern United States and Canada. I evaluated roosting behavior, habitat selection, and landscape-scale distribution of roosts of the northern long-eared bat during spring emergence and the early maternity season in Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky, USA, from 2015 to 2016. Logistic regression analysis comparing habitat features of roosts with random plots indicated selection of roosts reflected the costs of energetic demands by sex and reproductive status. Relative abundance of local bat species was assessed pre- and post-arrival of WNS in the Park during the summer season, with capture rates observed during the progression of WNS indicating that the fungal disease led to declines in the overall abundance of several bat species on the summer landscape, especially the northern long-eared bat. Distributional trends were quantified using spatial point pattern analysis which indicated that bats had clear roosting patterns associated with landscape level features and habitat resources. Monitoring bat populations regionally and at local scales will be imperative to helping conservation efforts for several bat species most affected by WNS.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2017.053

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