Depending on habitat availability, the endangered Indiana bat may be able to use its social connections to survive a certain amount of roost destruction, according to research by scientists at Virginia Tech and The Ohio State University.
Alexander Silvis of Lynchburg, Ohio, and Andrew Kniowski of Boones Mill, Virginia, both doctoral students in Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources and Environment, made findings from Ohio State field studies highly visual by applying graphic and spatial approaches to the data.
"Social dynamics are important to bat roosting behavior," said Silvis, who is studying fish and wildlife conservation. "And now, looking at results of a study of roosting and foraging activity in a new light, we have evidence that Indiana bats make social contacts during foraging."
"An improved understanding of Indiana bat social structure and roosting behavior could greatly benefit efforts to minimize impacts of human land use on the species and provide insight into habitat management efforts," said W. Mark Ford, an associate professor of Virginia Tech's Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, who leads the Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and advises both Silvis and Kniowski.
Silvis, Kniowski, and Ford, along with Stanley D. Gehrt, an associate professor and wildlife extension specialist at The Ohio State University, co-authored an article on their research that appeared in May in PLOS ONE.
Indiana bats form maternity colonies in summer beneath the bark of live trees or standing dead trees known as snags. The Ohio State rese
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