Evaluating the effectiveness of the standard mist-netting protocol for the endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis)


Standardized mist-netting protocols set guidelines regarding the best way to sample a bat species or community. We evaluated the current mist-netting guidelines designed to determine presence or absence of endangered, Myotis sodalis (Indiana bat). This test was conducted in Deer Ridge Conservation Area (Lewis County, northeastern Missouri), an area known to have an abundance of Indiana bats, including several primary maternity colonies. We mist-netted according to recommended guidelines for Indiana bats for two consecutive nights at three different times during the reproductive season. Anabat II detectors were used in conjunction with mist nets to sample bat activity at the same locations. Captures and detections of Indiana bats and other species of bats varied substantially among the sampling periods. In addition, there was a significant decrease in number of Indiana bats captured with mist nets from night one to night two, although activity levels remained the same. Finally, our data show that augmenting mist nets with ultrasonic detectors can enhance the probability of determining the presence or absence of Indiana bats.



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Northeastern Naturalist