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Hawaiian hoary bat acoustic surveys on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, 2019–2021

November 11, 2021

The endangered Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus semotus, Vespertilionidae, also known as Aeorestes semotus and ‘ōpe‘ape‘a) occurs on all the principal volcanic islands in Hawai‘i. Advances in acoustic bat monitoring techniques have contributed to the body of knowledge of bat activity and behavior in many areas of the State of Hawai‘i; however, there is still much that is unknown about the population and seasonal distribution of Hawaiian hoary bats on O‘ahu. A two-year acoustic survey for presence of Hawaiian hoary bats was conducted at 17 stations across four Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) properties on O‘ahu to document distribution, seasonal patterns, and foraging activity. Bats were confirmed present at all properties; MCBH Kaneohe Bay on Mōkapu Peninsula, Marine Corps Training Area Bellows (MCTAB) in Waimanalo, Camp H M Smith in Halawa Heights, and Puuloa Range Training Facility (RTF) on the ‘Ewa coastal plain. Hawaiian hoary bats were recorded in airspace at all four properties during important periods of Hawaiian hoary bat life history, including periods of pregnancy, lactation, and pup fledging; however, overall presence was low. Foraging activity as identified from characteristic feeding buzzes was very rare and was recorded on only three nights over the entire study. Within-night bat detection pooled for all nights and stations at each property showed that bat activity was mostly confined to the first several hours of the night at MCBH Kaneohe Bay and Puuloa RTF, whereas bat activity was spread throughout the night at Camp H M Smith and MCTAB. Overall, detection frequency was low (year 1 = 0.009, year 2 = 0.007, average = 0.008) at the study sites on O‘ahu compared to results from acoustic monitoring studies on the islands of Maui and Hawai‘i. However, the low rate of bat presence on MCBH properties is consistent with recent studies at other locations on the Island of O‘ahu. Monitoring the seasonal presence and distribution of Hawaiian hoary bats on MCBH facilities, especially at forest and wetland habitats, could contribute to the broader scientific understanding of islandwide distribution and behavior on O‘ahu, which is essential for species recovery planning and implementation of best management practices.

Publication Year 2021
Title Hawaiian hoary bat acoustic surveys on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, 2019–2021
Authors Corinna A. Pinzari, Kristina Montoya-Aiona, Danielle Gross, Karen Courtot
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Other Government Series
Series Title Technical Report
Series Number 100
Index ID 70226915
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center