Sex-specific foraging habits and roost characteristics of Nycticeius humeralis in north-central Arkansas

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Date: Oct. 2016
From: Journal of Mammalogy(Vol. 97, Issue 5)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Document Type: Author abstract; Report
Length: 197 words

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Abstract :

Sexual segregation is common in polygynous mammals, particularly in wild ungulates, but is less known in bats of North America. Yet, the declining bat populations caused by white-nose syndrome, wind energy facilities, and habitat loss throughout eastern North America require habitat management, which may be sex specific. We thus determined sex-specific roosting and foraging habits of evening bats (Nycticeius humeralis) in north-central Arkansas. During the summers of 2013 and 2014, we equipped 70 individuals with radiotransmitters to track their foraging movements and identify their roosts that we characterized with 3 tree-level and 7 plot-level variables. We found that evening bat males and females segregate spatially with females foraging over a larger area than males. Females' roosts were also higher in elevation. Although the roost itself had similar characteristics between sexes, its surrounding habitat was characterized by less canopy cover and a smaller basal area for females. Our results support sex-specific habits and sexual segregation in a forest-dwelling bat, which highlights the importance of sex-specific studies to inform management decisions that would benefit both sexes, including females for which parental investment is higher. Key words: elevation, evening bat, foraging, Nycticeius humeralis, roost ecology, sexual segregation, spatial DOI: 10.1093/jmammal/gyw102

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A467681136