Tree roosting by male and female eastern pipistrelles in a forested landscape

Abstract

Little information has been published on selection of tree roosts by eastern pipistrelles (Perimyotis subflavus) in forested environments, and no radiotelemetry-based studies have been conducted on males in forested settings. Therefore, we used radiotelemetry to characterize summer roost selection by 21 male (33 roosts) and 7 female (14 roosts) eastern pipistrelles during 6 years in a forested region of the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas. All roosts were located in the vegetation of tree canopies; 50% of roosts of females and 91% of roosts of males were in dead leaves of deciduous trees. Three (43%) of 7 maternity colonies were in dead needles of large live pines (Pinus echinata); this is the 1st documented use of pines by this species for roosting. Males selected tree sizes randomly but females selected trees that were larger (P , 0.05) than random. For males, 87% of roosts were in oaks (Quercus), and males roosted at sites with more midstory hardwoods, more large pines in the overstory, less canopy cover, and farther from the nearest trees than random locations. In a landscape offering a diversity of forest habitats, eastern pipistrelles during summer roosted mostly in leaves of oaks in mature (50-year-old) forest with a relatively complex structure and a hardwood component.

  • Citation: Perry, Roger W.; Thill, Ronald E. 2007. Tree roosting by male and female eastern pipistrelles in a forested landscape. Journal of Mammalogy. 88(4): 974-981.

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