Observations of little myotis (myotis Lucifugus) habitat associations and activity in the Chugach National Forest, Alaska
Little is known about the ecological relationships of bats of Southcentral Alaska. We used AnaBat II bat detectors, mist-netting, and radio-telemetry to collect preliminary data on the distribution and status of bats on the Chugach National Forest (CNF), their activity patterns, and their roosting and foraging habitats. Myotis spp. were detected at 20 of 25 acoustic sampling sites. Bat activity tended to be higher at water sites than at road or trail sites, and higher in hardwood stands than in conifer stands, although these differences were not statistically significant. Based on data recorded at a maternity roost, the total activity period for bats during July was approximately 5 h per night; no bat activity was observed prior to sunset or after sunrise at any of the sites. Hourly activity was not related to temperature, but activity ended earlier on cooler nights. An adult male Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus) was tracked to a day-roost in a large Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis) snag with sloughing bark. Most female Little Brown Myotis captured at a maternity roost were either lactating or post-lactating. These preliminary findings suggest that bats are common on the CNF, but more research is needed to determine their habitat associations and their responses to disturbances including forest management practices, fire, insect outbreaks, climate change , and disease.