Skip to Main Content
Deriving habitat models for northern long-eared bats from historical detection data: a case study using the Fernow Experimental ForestAuthor(s): W. Mark Ford; Alexander Silvis; Jane L. Rodrigue; Andrew B. Kniowski; Joshua B. Johnson
Source: Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management. 7(1): 86-98.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
Download Publication (4.0 MB)
DescriptionThe listing of the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) as federally threatened under the Endangered Species Act following severe population declines from white-nose syndrome presents considerable challenges to natural resource managers. Because the northern long-eared bat is a forest habitat generalist, development of effective conservation measures will depend on appropriate understanding of its habitat relationships at individual locations. However, severely reduced population sizes make gathering data for such models difficult. As a result, historical data may be essential in development of habitat models. To date, there has been little evaluation of how effective historical bat presence data, such as data derived from mist-net captures, acoustic detection, and day-roost locations, may be in developing habitat models, nor is it clear how models created using different data sources may differ. We explored this issue by creating presence probability models for the northern long-eared bat on the Fernow Experimental Forest in the central Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia using a historical, presence-only data set. Each presence data type produced outputs that were dissimilar but that still corresponded with known traits of the northern long-eared bat or are easily explained in the context of the particular data collection protocol. However, our results also highlight potential limitations of individual data types. For example, models from mist-net capture data only showed high probability of presence along the dendritic network of riparian areas, an obvious artifact of sampling methodology. Development of ecological niche and presence models for northern long-eared bat populations could be highly valuable for resource managers going forward with this species. We caution, however, that efforts to create such models should consider the substantial limitations of models derived from historical data, and address model assumptions.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationFord, W. Mark; Silvis, Alexander; Rodrigue, Jane L.; Kniowski, Andrew B.; Johnson, Joshua B. 2016. Deriving habitat models for northern long-eared bats from historical detection data: a case study using the Fernow Experimental Forest. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management. 7(1): 86-98.
Keywordsacoustical sampling, day roosts, distribution model, habitat model, landscape distribution, maximum-likelihood modeling, mist-net sampling, Myotis septentrionalis, northern long-eared bat
- False-positive occupancy models produce less-biased occupancy estimates for a rare and elusive bat species
- Internal cavity characteristics of northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) maternity day-roosts
- Roost tree selection by northern myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) maternity colonies following prescribed fire in a Central Appalachian Mountains hardwood forest
XML: View XML