We used Anabat acoustical monitoring devices to examine bat activity in intact canopy forests, complex canopy forests with gaps, forests subjected to diameter-limit harvests, recent deferment harvests, clearcuts and unmanaged forested riparian areas in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia in the summer of 1999. We detected eight species of bats, including the endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis). Most bat activity was concentrated in forested riparian areas. Among upland habitats, activity of silver-haired bats (Lasionycteris noctivagans) and hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus) was higher in open, less cluttered vegetative types such as recent deferment harvests and clearcuts. Our results suggest that bat species in the central Appalachians partially segregate themselves among vegetative conditions based on differences in body morphology and echolocation call characteristics. From the standpoint of conserving bat foraging habitat for the maximum number of species in the central Appalachians, special emphasis should be placed on protecting forested riparian areas.
Additional publication details
Bat activity in harvested and intact forest stands in the allegheny mountains