Thesis Title

Detection of Fire by Eastern Red Bats (Lasiurus Borealis): Arousal from Torpor

Date of Graduation

Summer 2006


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Lynn Robbins


Red bats burrow into leaf litter and become torpid during cold weather. Torpor is a chemically induced stupor that prevents a bat from moving quickly. The presence of bats in the leaf litter can be a problem for wildlife managers who often use prescribed burns as a conservation tool. Red bats have been observed flying from a fire and found burned after a fire. The objective of this study was to determine factors that trigger red backs to arouse from torpor during a burn. Some variables that may cause arousal are smoke, the sound of fire, and/or a combination of these variables. In this study, red bats in the lab aroused from torpor in response to smoke alone. They did not respond to the sound of fire alone. However, the strongest response was to a combination of smoke and the sound of fire. This study is important because it will help conversation managers determine optical burning conditions so that red bat populations are not affected negatively.


Eastern red bat, Lasuirus borealis, fire management, fire ecology, torpor

Subject Categories



© Anna A. Scesny