Western crevice and cavity-roosting bats

By: , and 



Among the 45 species of bats that occur in the United States (U.S.), 34 species regularly occur in western regions of the country. Many of these “western” species choose roost sites in crevices or cavities. Herein we provide an introduction to the biology of bats that roost in cavities and crevices and assess the challenges and opportunities associated with monitoring their populations. We reviewed recent studies and examined the U.S. Geological Survey Bat Population Database (BPD) for records of western bats using crevice and cavity roosts. We found records of 25 species of western bats that use crevice or cavity roosts for at least part of their annual cycle. There were relatively few (n = 92) observations or counts for these species in the BPD, representing only 6% of the observations in the database. This paucity of records likely reflects the difficulty of observing bats in such situations rather than actual use. We found no long-term data adequate for population trend analysis among this group of bats. Since the development of miniaturized radio transmitters, our knowledge about bats that roost in cavities and crevices has increased. Future challenges associated with monitoring these species will include understanding variability in the types of roosts used as well as the roost-switching behavior exhibited by many species.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Western crevice and cavity-roosting bats
Year Published 2003
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description 9 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title Monitoring trends in bat populations of the United States and territories: Problems and prospects (Information and Technology Report 2003-0003)
First page 69
Last page 77
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