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Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus) acoustic monitoring at Hawaii Army National Guard (HIARNG) installations statewide

January 30, 2020

Acoustic sampling for occurrence of the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus) was conducted at 18 “long-term” acoustic monitoring stations on 12 Hawai‘i Army National Guard (HIARNG) installations across the islands of Hawai‘i, Maui, Moloka‘i, O‘ahu, and Kaua‘i between 2012 and 2018. Bats were confirmed as present at 10 of these installations: Kealakekua Armory, Keaukaha Military Reservation (KMR), Hanapēpe Armory, Kekaha Firing Range (KFR), Pu‘unēnē Training Facility, Ukumehame Firing Range (UFR), Kaunakakai Armory, Bellows Regional Training Institute, Kalaeloa, Barber’s Point, and the 487th Military Parking Facility, Wahiawā. Seasonal frequency of bat detection was similar to previous acoustic studies for the islands of Hawai‘i, Maui, and O‘ahu. Hawaiian hoary bats were recorded at HIARNG installations during periods of pregnancy, lactation, and pup fledging. Our acoustic sampling did not record bat vocalizations at Fort Ruger and Waiawa Armory. Foraging activity was observed at nine acoustic monitoring stations on the islands of Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, and Maui. No foraging activity was observed on Moloka‘i and a single station on O‘ahu recorded one feeding buzz in September 2017 at Kalaeloa, Barber’s Point. Within-night detections showed bat activity was mostly confined to the first six hours of the night but was also variable among stations. In addition to long-term bat acoustic monitoring at HIARNG installations, Hawaiian hoary bat insect prey sampling with paired acoustic monitoring was conducted at KMR on Hawai‘i Island from May through August 2018. Insect abundance and bat activity were sampled within areas where goats and sheep were used to control weeds to determine if grazing by these ungulates attract and support potential prey for the insectivorous Hawaiian hoary bat. The assessment focused on types of flies that are often associated with livestock (muscoid flies, including house flies [Muscidae], blow flies [Calliphoridae], flesh flies [Sarcophagidae], and biting midges [Ceratopogonidae]), and moths that may be impacted by changes in the availability of grass. Insect abundance was found to vary in both space and time across the study area, with numbers of muscoid flies and biting midges increasing in the presence of livestock at some stations. Although these insects appeared to respond to livestock grazing in some instances, we did not find statistically significant responses in bat foraging as measured by echolocation activity between grazed stations and the ungrazed reference station. Thus, we found no evidence that suggested bats are drawn to foraging resources in grazed areas. This result may be influenced by several factors, including the size of Hawaiian hoary bat foraging ranges compared to the scale of study area, the type of ungulate and their dung, and the timing of insect activity. Hawaiian hoary bats use KMR and forage seasonally as evidenced by long-term acoustic studies and their presence in the ungulate grazing areas; however, the relatively small size of the ungulate herd and the area that they graze may not be able to support enough prey to have a significant influence on bat foraging rates.

Publication Year 2020
Title Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus) acoustic monitoring at Hawaii Army National Guard (HIARNG) installations statewide
Authors Kristina Montoya-Aiona, Corinna Pinzari, Robert W. Peck, Kevin W. Brinck, Frank J Bonaccorso
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Other Government Series
Series Title Hawaii Cooperative Studies Unit Technical Report Series
Index ID 70209711
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center