Characteristics of urban constructions occupied by bats

Vander Pol, Robin
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Certain bat species like Myotis velifer (cave myotis), Pipistrellus subflavus (eastern pipistrelle), and Tadarida brasiliensis (Mexican free-tailed) of Waco, Texas roost in buildings, sometimes even when more natural roosting structures are available. However, not much research has been done looking into the features of these chosen buildings that attracts bats. The purpose of this study is to identify some of these unknown characteristics. We surveyed and identified 62 buildings, in downtown Waco as roosts using external marks such as guano deposits and bat vocalizations to find their exact positions. 41 were day roosts and 21 were night roosts, used only as resting positions during the night. Using observation and GIS software we gathered characteristics about these buildings such as human occupancy and building footprint area in order to find common characteristics. We found construction type was a factor in day vs. night roost selection and human occupancy was a major factor in day vs. non-roost selection. Knowing these features will aid in conservation.

Bats., Urban ecology., Bat roosts., Urban constructions., Bat occupency.