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Seasonal and elevational differences by sex in capture rate of ʻōpeʻapeʻa (Lasiurus semotus) on Hawai‘i Island

October 20, 2023

The study of nocturnally active bats is difficult even for those species that seasonally congregate. This challenge is particularly acute for ‘ōpe‘ape‘a (Hawaiian hoary bat; Lasiurus semotus) because of its solitary foliage-roosting behavior. Yet surveys are essential for conservation and management of this endangered species and only land mammal endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. We surveyed for ‘ōpe‘ape‘a at 23 sites and a range of elevations (33–2,341 m) on Hawai‘i Island from May 2018 to August 2021. We captured 138 unique bats (37 female, 101 male) over 224 mist-netting events. We averaged 16 net-hours per bat capture, with peak captures 30–90 min after sunset. We marked all captured individuals in this study with identifying forearm bands and recaptures represented 7% of total captures (10 of 148). We developed generalized linear mixed models to examine the relationship of nightly bat captures by sex to elevation and time-of-year while accounting for variable sampling effort and repeated sampling in this study. Both males and females were captured at low and high elevations with peak capture rates occurring at approximately 930 m. The capture rate for females was highest during the reproductive season (May to September), whereas it was highest for males during the non-reproductive season (October to April). This study informs future fieldwork with a description of ‘ōpe‘ape‘a capture on Hawai‘i Island by sex, elevation, time-of-year and time-of-night, radio transmitter retention, and recapture frequency.

Publication Year 2023
Title Seasonal and elevational differences by sex in capture rate of ʻōpeʻapeʻa (Lasiurus semotus) on Hawai‘i Island
DOI 10.2984/77.1.1
Authors Julia P. S. Hoeh, Aaron A. Aguirre, Flor A. Calderon, Sean P. Casler, Sarah G. Ciarrachi, Karen Courtot, Kristina Montoya-Aiona, Corinna A. Pinzari, P. Marcos Gorresen
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Pacific Science
Index ID 70249633
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center