Availability And Seasonal Use Of Diurnal Roosts By Rafinesque'S Big-Eared Bat And Southeastern Myotis In Bottomland Hardwoods Of Mississippi
Stevenson, Candice LeeAnn
AdvisorJones, Jeanne C.
Rafinesque’s big-eared bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii) and southeastern myotis (Myotis austroriparius) are listed as species of concern in Mississippi. They use bottomland hardwood forests for roosting habitat; however, much of these forests in Mississippi have been lost or degraded. I seek to characterize availability and evaluate use of diurnal tree roosts for these presumably rare bats. Approximately 1,250 ha of bottomland hardwood forest on Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge were surveyed. I measured characteristics of 622 cavity trees. Analyses revealed that these bats most often used cavities of large diameter trees (≥70 cm DBH). Rafinesque’s big-eared bat and southeastern myotis roosted commonly in baldcypress (Taxodium distichum), black tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica), and American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis). This research will be used to provide guidance for management plans to conserve these bats and their habitat.