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Category: General Publications

Title: Working Paper 17: Bat Habitat and Forest Restoration Treatments

Author: Minard, A.E. , * Egan, D.

Subject: Wildlife, Ecological Restoration

Abstract: Northern Arizona is home to at least 20 species of batsor two-thirds of the bat species found in the state (Cockburn 1960, Hinman and Snow 2003). Only a couple of these species live exclusively in ponderosa pine forests while the rest inhabit a variety of ecosystem types from desert scrub to pinyonjuniper to ponderosa pine-Gambel oak and mixed conifer (Arizona Game and Fish Department 1996, Hinman and Snow 2003). Bats are an important part of the forest ecology of northern Arizona because they prey on insects such as midges, moths, beetles, flies, mosquitoes, termites, and ants. They typically roost in the cavities of live trees and snags, under loose tree bark, in tree stumps and logs, in rock crevices, or in caves. As the new era of ecologically restoring forest ecosystems in the Southwest moves from experiments to full implementation, the question arises:What effects will restoration treatments have on forest wildlife, including often forgotten or poorly understood animal groups, such as bats? Thinning, for instance, might remove snags where bats roost, and burning could inadvertently destroy or alter such roosting sites.While its true that fire will create new snags, given the present forest conditions, they will be younger, smaller-diameter snags that are more susceptible to fire, and not the 27-inch-plus-diameter snags bats most often use. In this working paper, we look at research and studies that provide some recommendations about ways to maintain bat habitat while restoring forest tree health and vitality.

Date: 2007

Type: Working Papers

Source: ERI Working Papers

Identifier: Vol. 17, 8p.

Publisher: NAU Ecological Restoration Institute, http://www.eri.nau.edu

Format: PDF

Language: English