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Spatial and Temporal Variation of Bat Assemblages in Eastern Iowa.
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.