Importance / Issues
As secretive, mobile, and nocturnal animals, bats are often under represented in native wildlife inventories. The life histories of many species of bats are poorly understood, yet their longevity, low reproductive rates, and strong habitat preferences suggest they may be potential indicator species in landscapes.
Regional and continent-wide declines in bat populations have heightened attention for these species (Verts and Caraway 1998). The causes attributed to bat declines include loss of roosting habitat, natural habitat changes, and environmental contaminants. Due to their low reproductive rates, bats appear to be highly sensitive to disturbances which impact roosting habitat or affect reproductive success (Hayes in prep). Even short-term human disturbance may cause some species of bats to vacate optimal roosting or hibernation sites (hibernacula) for less suitable habitat. Detailed data on species presence, roosting sites or hibernacula, and populations are considered essential management information in the Klamath parks.
Diverse life histories and habitat needs have hampered definitive analysis of population trends for many bat species. Colonial roosting bats associated with caves have been the focus of most bat monitoring in the parks, and there has been an ongoing monitoring effort for cave-roosting bat colonies in LABE and ORCA. Over dispersed species, which roost singly or in small groups across the landscape, are much less poorly known. Basic information on status and trends of most species is so inadequate that scientists are presently unable to document or predict species population declines, or to direct management.
The primary objective of this inventory is to document the full bat fauna of each park as cost-effectively as possible.
The second objective is to inventory likely habitats and locate new populations of species in the parks to support future monitoring efforts.
Crater Lake National Park
Dr. Tom Morrell
As part of our Integrated Cave Entrance Communities and Cave Environments monitoring project we will be monitoring some species of bats at Lava Beds and Oregon Caves National Monuments