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Multi-scale assessment of roost selection by ‘ōpe‘ape‘a, the Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus semotus)

August 24, 2023

The Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus semotus; Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae), commonly and locally known as ‘ōpe‘ape‘a, is a solitary, insectivorous, and foliage-roosting species distributed across a wide range of habitats in lowland and montane environments. The species, as with many others in the Hawaiian archipelago, are facing a suite of challenges due to habitat loss and degradation, introduced predators and pests, and climate change. An understanding of the roost requirements of foliage-roosting tree bats is critical to their conservation as these habitats provide several important benefits to survival and reproduction. Because little is known about ‘ōpe‘ape‘a roost ecology and considerable effort is needed to capture and track bats to roost locations, we examined resource selection at multiple spatial scales—perch location within a roost tree, roost tree, and forest stand. We used a discrete choice modeling approach to investigate day-roost selection and describe attributes of roost trees including those used as maternity roosts. ‘Ōpe‘ape‘a were found roosting in 19 tree species and in an assortment of landcover types including native and non-native habitats. Our results are largely consistent with findings of other studies of foliage-roosting, insectivorous tree bats where bats selected roost locations that may offer protection and thermoregulatory benefits.

Publication Year 2023
Title Multi-scale assessment of roost selection by ‘ōpe‘ape‘a, the Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus semotus)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0288280
Authors Kristina Montoya-Aiona, P. Marcos Gorresen, Karen Courtot, Aaron A. Aguirre, Flor A. Calderon, Sean P. Casler, Sarah G. Ciarrachi, Julia P. S. Hoeh, Josephine L. Tupu, Terry L. Zinn
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title PLoS ONE
Index ID 70247948
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center