Evaluation of monitoring methodologies for Myotis sodalis and Myotis septentrionalis in conjunction with current USFWS protocols and transportation projects.
Wildlife & Ecosystems
Research Idea Scope
The Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) is a federally listed endangered species and the Northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) is a species proposed for Federal listing under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. These species’ ranges include most of the Eastern U.S. Due to population declines from white-nose syndrome, probability of detection of these species using standard mist-netting surveys has declined, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has recommended transitioning to acoustic surveys to detect these species. The general objective of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness and reliability of acoustic monitoring compared to mist netting using current USFWS survey protocols to identify presence of Myotis sodalis and Myotis septentrionalis. Further, the research could help evaluate and ground-truth the acoustic call library data to ensure accurate species composition data is collected using the best possible method(s). Having accurate species composition data will allow for appropriate evaluation of effects to federally listed and proposed bat species, enabling a more accurate Section 7 consultation process for transportation projects.
Urgency and Payoff
Considering the high concern of white-nose syndrome and habitat loss for these species, the sooner we can make these evaluations, the sooner we can establish weaknesses and provide recommendations for future survey improvements. Since these are wide-ranging species, results may be applicable to many states’ DOTs. There is uncertainty about the effectiveness of acoustic monitoring. We have a need to minimize false positive detections to keep the Section 7 consultation process efficient but conversely we need to minimize false negatives to facilitate conservation and recovery of the species.
Marci Lininger USFWS Region 3 Ohio Field Office 614-416-8993 Ex:27