Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Major Professor

Emma V. Willcox

Committee Members

John M. Zobel, David A. Buehler, William H. Stiver


The ongoing spread of white-nose syndrome is causing devastating declines range-wide for certain North American bat species. Baseline population data that would help mangers monitor bat populations in the face of WNS is lacking. Likewise, knowledge of summer roosts, a limiting resource for tri-colored bats (Perimyotis subflavus), a species threatened by WNS, is lacking in the southern portion of their range. In our study, we investigated the effect that WNS has had on a population of tricolored bats in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN-NC. We also characterized summer roosts for the species at the microhabitat and landscape levels. Summer capture rates declined significantly for tri-colored (-76%), little brown (-98%), northern long-eared (-99%), and Indiana bats (-69%) following the arrival of WNS, and winter cave counts also declined significantly for tri-colored (-94%), little brown (-98%), and Indiana bats (-87%). Male tri-colored bats selected for roosts in forest stands with a lower density of stems and fewer conifers in the overstory, as well as taller and larger trees than were generally available. They also selected roosts that were closer to water and foraging resources, and were generally located at lower elevations.

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