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Bat Conservation

Surveys of Tricolored Bat Winter-roost Structures on Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field, 2019-2022


Lorraine Ketzler, Fish & Wildlife Biologist, US Fish & Wildlife Service/Department of the Interior, US Air Force – Hurlburt Field:


Tricolored bats (Perimyotis subflavus) were petitioned for federal listing in 2016, and are found on both Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field, FL. In areas where caves are not available for winter roosting, this species sometimes uses a variety of human structures instead, such as bridges and culverts. Maintenance, repair, or replacement of these structures could negatively impact tricolored bats if performed during winter. Over three field seasons, we have used bat acoustic detectors and infra-red video cameras to identify winter-roost structures being used by tricolored bats. We have identified six winter-roost structures, including one that was used by tricolored bats, and we’ve detected multiple bat species foraging near structures. Identifying these structures as bat roosts assists the military mission by identifying potential wildlife impacts so that alternative strategies can be taken to maintain these structures, promoting conservation and mission success. Our techniques may be helpful for others initiating winter-roost surveys.

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