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Johnson, Megan M., Bainbridge, Elizabeth G., Redmond, Kyle D., O’Rourke, Jake.M., Cruise, Chelsie E., & Zuercher, Gerald L. “Spatial and Temporal Variation in Eastern Iowa Bat Assemblages.” Poster presentation for the Chlapaty Research Fellowship Program, University of Dubuque, 2012.
Abstract: North American bats, (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae), are important components of biodiversity that are often underrepresented in conservation and management plans because of a lack of information on populations status and habitat requirements. Bats are important components to healthy ecosystems as well as human economies. North American bats are insectivores whose diets often include both human-disease vectors and damaging agricultural pests. There are nine species of bats recorded for Iowa. This includes the Federally Endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), the evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis) which is “Threatened” within Iowa, and the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) which is a “Species of Special Concern” within Iowa. We sampled bat communities at five locations within Dubuque County, Iowa including a state park (Mines of Spain Recreational Area), three county parks (Bankston Park, White Water Canyon Wildlife Area, Swiss Valley Nature Preserve), and a privately managed property (Wolter Property). Mist nets were set up before sunset and left in place until one hour after the last bat was captured. Overall, seven of the nine potential bat species were captured with little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) being the most common species. Variation in both total number of bats captured and number of species captured occurred between sites. Also, the sampled bat communities at each site varied temporally. With the presence of White-Nose Syndrome confirmed from caves in eastern Iowa, our data provide a baseline against which impacts from the disease can be compared. We suggest continuing the surveys of bat communities in eastern Iowa.
Redmond, Kyle .D., Johnson, Megan M., Bainbridge, Elizabeth G.,Cruise, Chelsie E., O’Rourke, Jake M., Kieffer, Lea M., Marr, Shelby L., Zuercher, Gerald L., & Koch, David E. “The Impact of Habitat Variation on Small Mammal Distribution in Eastern Iowa.” Poster presentation for the Chlapaty Research Fellowship Program, University of Dubuque, 2012.
Historically, a diverse community of small mammals occurred within Iowa, most of which were associated with the abundant prairies. It is important to examine the impact of ever-decreasing native prairie in Iowa on small mammal communities. We examined the relationship between habitat and small mammal communities at Whitewater Canyon Wildlife Area (WCWA), a park at the border of Dubuque, Jackson, and Jones Counties in Iowa. The park totals 419 acres and consists of four different types habitat; native prairie, restored prairie, woodland, and cornfield. The park is surrounded on all sides by corn or soybean fields. Small mammals were trapped every other week on five transects using live-traps baited with peanut butter. Strategically placed pitfall traps supplemented the basic trapping protocol. A total of seven species were captured: white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), western jumping mice (Zapus hudsonicus), meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus), prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus), eastern short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda), and masked shrew (Sorex cinereus). Additionally, 13-lined ground squirrels (Spermophilus tridecimlineatus), though never captured in a trap, were regularly spotted on the property; their locations were noted. The presence of eastern moles (Scalopus aquaticus) also was noted wherever encountered. Species richness and species diversity were determined for each transect. Small mammal communities differed for all transects, likely reflecting different habitat preferences for each species. It appears that overall species diversity for the park is enhanced by the maintenance of multiple habitat types.