Fort Drum Bat Survey

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Type Title: 
Bat Survey
Jefferson/Lewis, NY
Department of Defense, Fort Drum
May 2011-August 2012
Present Status: 
Major Project Elements: 
Mist-netting, Ground radio tracking, Aerial radio tracking, Habitat Assessments, White-Nose Syndrome assessments (WNS)

The primary objective of this project was to use mist-net surveys and radio-tracking to document the spatial and temporal use and distribution of bats within the Fort Drum landscape. White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) pattern and distribution within and among bat species was also evaluated across the Installation. 

Thirty pre-determined net sites distributed across the Fort Drum installation were surveyed twice during the season totaling 240 net-nights. The first period occurred between 15 June 2011 and 10 July 2011, generally before pups are volant; the second period occurred between 17 July 2011 and 12 August 2011 when pups are volant.   Mist-netting followed guidelines set forth by the USFWS and the Indiana Bat Recovery Team to survey summer habitat for the presence/absence of the federally endangered Indiana bat.

Survey efforts resulted in 437 bats, comprised of seven of the nine known bat species for New York were captured during the summer of 2011.  Eastern small-footed bat (M. leibii) and eastern pipistrelle bat (Perimyotis subflavus) were not recorded during the survey. The three most common species captured were big brown bats, eastern red bats and little brown bats.  Big brown bats comprised 83% of bats captured; whereas hoary bats, silver-haired bat, northern long-eared bats, and Indiana bats only composed one percent of captures. 

Radio tracking efforts resulted in tracking 20 bats, including one Indiana bat, three little brown bats, one silver-haired bat, and 15 big brown bats to 28 roosts.  Bats were tracked to  nine (32%) red maples, four (14%) human made structure, four (14%) red oaks, three (11%) sugar maples, and two (7%) American beech.