Date of Graduation

Summer 2012

Degree

Master of Science in Biology

Department

Biology

Committee Chair

Lynn Robbins

Keywords

Indiana bat, Myotis sodalis, radio telemetry, home range, minimum convex polygon, kernel

Subject Categories

Biology

Abstract

The delineation of home range and determination of high activity areas are critical for assessing risk to individuals within a reproductive unit (maternity colony). The onset of white-nose syndrome and the rise in the number of utility-scale wind turbines increase risks to the endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and therefore, warrant further research on how to delineate home range. A study was conducted in Northeastern Missouri from May 19 to July 28, 2011. Twelve Indiana bats were fitted with radio transmitters and tracked for an average of 4.6 nights/bat (49 telemetry locations/bat). Minimum Convex Polygon Analysis (MCP; 100% and 95%), Kernel Analysis (90%, 95%, and 99% isopleths), and a method developed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) were used to estimate four different home ranges for each Indiana bat (n=11) and colony (n=3). These methods were compared using area and amount of forest within this area. A repeated measures General Linear Model indicates a significant difference in area among home range methods (p<0.01). Tukey's Pairwise comparison indicates the USFWS method results in a significantly larger area than other home range estimates. In addition, three acoustic detectors, set on a gradient of forested to non-forested sites, were utilized to assess activity in relation to forest cover. Acoustic activity decreases in open areas indicating that open areas included in home ranges may be less favorable to Indiana bats. The collection of estimated locations using telemetry is highly recommended when delineating home range of Indiana bats; the USFWS method should only be used in the absence of radio telemetry data.

Copyright

© Benjamin Thomas Hale

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