Researchers from Virginia Tech University, in cooperation with natural resource staff from Capitol Reef National Park (CARE) and Southeast Utah Group (SEUG; Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges National Monuments) will conduct an acoustic study of the bat community
within the 5 NPS units in southeastern Utah from summer 2019 through fall 202 1. Data will be collected continuously over a 2-year period to gather baseline seasonal and spatial activity patterns of bat species in each NPS unit.
This project will allow NPS to identify species or populations that are vulnerable to white-nose syndrome (WNS) and develop mitigation strategies for the spread of WNS at the 5 NPS units.
The data will serve as a baseline of bat distribution and activity patterns on NPS managed lands that can be compared with adjacent multiple-use managed federal, state, and private lands.
The data will also be shared with other agencies/organizations to fill in knowledge gaps about bat species distribution and activity patterns.
Project Objectives ¿The primary objective of this project is to gather large-scale spatial and temporal baseline data on bat communities across the 5 NPS units using acoustic surveys.
These data will help NPS develop bat conservation strategies and be used in management decision-making on WNS.
Specific project objectives are to:
1) determine year-round occupancy of bat species in the 5 NPS units, 2) evaluate seasonal variation in activity patterns of bat species among various habitat types, 3) develop standardized protocols for long-term acoustic monitoring programs for the 5 NPS units, 4) provide information to NPS managers on species/populations that may be vulnerable to WNS and develop strategies to mitigate the spread of WNS for 5 NPS units, and 5) share information gathered with other agencies or organizations doing bat research to better understand bat communities on the Colorado Plateau.