Quantitative Tools for the Urgent Recovery and Regulatory Needs of the Florida Bonneted Bat, Eumops floridanus

Science Center Objects

WARC researchers are organizing Florida bonneted bat echolocation recordings into a database to assess population trends and bat response to management actions.

Florida bonneted bat

Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus)

(Public domain)

The Science Issue and Relevance: The Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus), a species endemic to southern Florida, was listed as a federally endangered species in 2013. Due to their cryptic behavior, relatively little is known about the species distribution, ecology, and life history, limiting the ability of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a recovery plan and identify appropriate management actions. Specifically, more information is needed on the Florida bonneted bat’s range, foraging habits, roost-site selection, and the species’ response to habitat alterations (i.e., loss, modification, or restoration).

Florida bonneted bat known range

Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus) known range

 

Methodology for Addressing the Issue: The Florida bonneted bat uses echolocation to navigate the environment and locate insect prey. Echolocation involves emitting high-frequency sounds and listening to the reflected sound from objects or other living things and allows the bat to ‘see’ its surroundings at night. Using special equipment known as bat detectors, we can record the echolocation calls of bats in the environment and use the sound signatures to identify which species of bats use that area. Our team will organize and quality check Florida bonneted bat echolocation recordings at potential foraging and roosting sites across south Florida into a streamlined database. The database will facilitate data analysis to identify minimum survey recommendations and assess population trends and bat response to management actions.

 

Future Steps: We will work to integrate Florida bonneted bat data collected across the State with the North American Bat Monitoring Program and develop landscape-level models of bat response to water management in the Greater Everglades system.