Bat Survey of Thousand Hills State Park, Kirksville, Missouri, with Emphasis on Documenting the Presence of the Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis)
Zimmerman, Casey L.
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This study was to determine how woodland enhancement techniques impact bats in Thousand Hills State Park, Kirksville, Missouri and document roost tree preferences for the northern myotis (Myotis septentrionalis). Bat surveys occurred from May 15 through September 15, 2013, prior to woodland restoration, and again from May 15 through September 15, 2014, 6 months after restoration. Surveys mainly focused on documenting northern myotis and their roosting preferences. Knowing which trees they favor to roost in may help guide the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Department of Conservation, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service with future woodland restoration projects. Bats were identified by mist net capture or call identification using an Anabat detector. After 121 days (605 hours) of mist netting surveys, we captured 7 different species of bats with a total of 303 individual bats.. The Anabat detector recorded 9 different bat species and collected 1,093 calls. Northern myotis were tracked to determine roost tree species and location. We tracked 16 different northern myotis (2 males, 15 females) to 7 different species of trees. We documented 19 different roost trees throughout the study site with white oak trees (Quercus alba) that iii had snags or cavities being used the most by northern myotis. We noticed a decline in bats sampled for both mist net and Anabat detector calls collected in 2014 after forest management techniques were used. Species that declined were the big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus), eastern red bat (Lasiurus borealis), silver- haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans), hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus), Indiana myotis (Myotis sodalis), little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus), evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis), and the northern myotis (Myotis septentrionalis). The one species that did not show any significant difference was the tri-colored bat (Perimyotis subflavus), which may be due to its small sample size or because they thrive better in early successional forest growth stages (Loeb and O’Keefe 2006).