Date of Award
Master of Science
Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Emma V. Willcox
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.
Carpenter, Grace Marie, "BAT POPULATION STATUS AND ROOST SELECTION OF TRI-COLORED BATS IN THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK IN THE ERA OF WHITE-NOSE SYNDROME. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2017.