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Examining patterns of bat activity in Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico, using walking point transects

January 1, 2005

We conducted a preliminary study using small field crews, a single Anabat II detector coupled with a laptop computer, and point transects to examine patterns of bat activity at a scale of interest to local resource managers. The study was conducted during summers of 1996–1998 in Bandelier National Monument in the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico, a landscape with distinct vegetation zones and high species richness of bats. We developed simple models that described general patterns of acoustic activity within 4 vegetation zones based primarily on nightly variation and a qualitative index of habitat complexity. Bat acoustic activity (number of bat passes&sol point) did not vary dramatically among a limited sample of transects within a vegetation zone during 1996. In 1997 and 1998, single transects within each vegetation zone were established, and bat activity did not vary annually within these zones. Acoustic activity differed among the 4 vegetation zones of interest, with the greatest activity occurring in riparian canyon bottomland, intermediate activity in coniferous forest and a 1977 burned zone, and lowest activity in piñon-juniper woodlands. We identified 68.5% of 2,529 bat passes recorded during point-transect surveys to species using an echolocation call reference library we established for the area and qualitative characteristics of bat calls. Bat species richness and composition differed among vegetation zones. Results of these efforts were consistent with general knowledge of where different bat species typically forage and with the natural history of bats of New Mexico, suggesting such a method might have value for drawing inferences about bat activity in different vegetation zones.

Publication Year 2005
Title Examining patterns of bat activity in Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico, using walking point transects
DOI 10.1894/0038-4909(2005)050[0197:EPOBAI]2.0.CO;2
Authors L.E. Ellison, A. L. Everette, M.A. Bogan
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Southwestern Naturalist
Index ID 1015282
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Fort Collins Science Center