The Florida bonneted bat Eumops floridanus is a rare, endemic bat of south Florida, which roosts in woodpecker cavities, and anthropogenic structures, such as roofing tiles, chimneys, and bat houses. The northern-most occurrences of the bonneted bat are from mature pine forests at the Avon Park Air Force Range, Florida. We used ultrasonic acoustic recorders to understand bonneted bat activity and habitat occupancy. We modeled occupancy using a hierarchical Bayesian analysis, and included site- and time-specific covariates of detection probability, and site-specific covariates of occupancy. Probability of detection was low throughout Avon Park Air Force Range, but increased with Julian date. In most habitats, occupancy was poorly estimated, except for flatwood mature pinelands where occupancy was low (0.23 ± 0.06). As distance from red-cockaded woodpecker colonies increased occupancy decreased (β = -1.19 ± 0.26 SD). At the northern-most extent of the range, and throughout much of the historic range, increasing the expanse of mature, fire-maintained forest systems will increase habitat for the bonneted bat, and lead to faster population recovery.
Patterns of Florida Bonneted Bat Occupancy at the Northern Extent of Its Range
Robert A. Schorr, Kristopher A. Pitcher, Robert A. Aldredge, Paul M. Lukacs; Patterns of Florida Bonneted Bat Occupancy at the Northern Extent of Its Range. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 2023; doi: https://doi.org/10.3996/JFWM-22-055
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