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Project ID: 10-1-06-1

Year: 2010

Date Started: 06/01/2010

Date Completed: 06/26/2014

Title: Fire and Foraging Habitat Quality for Endangered Bats in Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park

Project Proposal Abstract: Prescribed fires in the mixed-oak forests of the eastern US are hypothesized to have positive effects on foraging and roosting habitat that may outweigh the risks to forest bats from smoke and heat exposures during fires. Published data on fire and bat foraging habitat are few for this ecosystem, however, particularly for the critical periods before and after hibernation. Our project will focus on testing hypotheses about the relationships between fires effects on insect prey availability and canopy structure and their relationship to bats selection of foraging areas during the pre- and post-hibernation periods at Mammoth Cave National Park (MCNP) in Kentucky. Habitat quality pre- and post-hibernation is critical because bats must go into hibernation with sufficient fat reserves and they often leave hibernation in poor condition. Bat condition may become even more important with the arrival of the White-nose Syndrome (WNS) epidemic. Feeding patterns will be verified with a diet study based on DNA barcoding techniques. Insect prey availability will be quantified with passive sampling techniques and bat activity will be characterized with echolocation (Anabat) sampling. Diet choice work will focus on the federally listed Indiana and gray bats, but our insect prey availability and foraging surveys will encompass all species using forests in which prescribed fires are used. MCNP provides a range of bat foraging habitat conditions created by their prescribed fire program including a time-since fire series, re-burns, and burns in ice-storm-disturbed forest. In addition to the above work, in response to the expected arrival of WNS at MCNP, we will monitor general population trends of bats at caves, trends in herbivorous insect abundances, and trends in levels of forest herbivory in an effort to assess any ecosystem service bats may provide through top-down control of insect populations. Our study will help MCNP assess the effects of their prescribed fires on forest bats and will provide information relevant for fire management on other land ownerships in the region. The information from our project will provide a stronger scientific basis for fire management planning at MCNP and for consultation between MCNP and the US Fish and Wildlife Service and others on endangered species management.

Principal Investigator: Michael J Lacki

Agency/Organization: University of Kentucky

Branch or Dept: Department of Forestry


Other Project Collaborators

Type

Name

Agency/Organization

Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Matthew B. Dickinson

Forest Service

NRS-Forest Health-Sustaining Forests

Co-Principal Investigator

Lynne K. Rieske-Kinney

University of Kentucky

Department of Entomology

Co-Principal Investigator

Nicholas S. Skowronski

Forest Service

NRS-Northern Research Station

Federal Cooperator

Michael T. Rains

Forest Service

NRS-Northern Research Station

Federal Fiscal Representative

Debbie L. Giovanopoulos

Forest Service

NRS-Northern Research Station


Project Locations

Consortium

Oak Woodlands


Level

State

Agency

Unit

STATE

KY

NPS

Mammoth Cave National Park


Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print go to website 1783 Government Publication Seasonal Occurrence and Habitat Affiliations of Trichoptera at Mammoth Cave National Park
view or print go to website 1784 Government Publication Using LiDAR to Link Forest Canopy Structure with Bat Activity and Insect Occurrence: Preliminary Findings
view or print   1398 Government Publication Fire and Foraging Habitat Quality for Endangered Bats in Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park
view or print   3514 Journal Article Bat Research News
view or print   4506 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Direct and Habitat Effects of Fire on Forest Bats
    4349 Dataset (including spatial) Raw and Post-Processed LiDAR Data Covering Mammoth Cave National Park Have Been Produced and Delivered to Park personnel
view or print   7529 Invited Paper/Presentation Responses of Myotis bats & their prey to the effects of prescribed fire in the central hardwood fore
view or print   7530 Invited Paper/Presentation Predicting bat activity across Mammoth Cave National Park using LiDAR-derived predictors of forest c
view or print   7531 Invited Paper/Presentation Exploring prey size and diet breadth of Rafinesques big-eared bat, a lepidopteran specialist
view or print   7533 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Assessing the effects of prescribed fire on the herbivore load and growth of white oak seedlings
view or print   7534 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Modeling bat activity across the fire-managed landscape of Mammoth Cave Natl Park using remotely- s
view or print   7535 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Investigating the effects of fire & forest canopy conditions on the abundance & diversity of insects
view or print   7532 Invited Paper/Presentation Assessing dietary specialization of Rafinesques big-eared bats (Corynorhinus rafinesquii) from a ma
view or print go to website 7098 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Using LiDAR to Link Forest Canopy Conditions with Diversity Patterns of Lepidoptera at Mammoth Cave National Park
view or print   7099 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Pre- and Post-Hibernation Changes in the Body Condition of Bats Susceptible to White-Nose Syndrome at Mammoth Cave National Park
view or print   7536 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Body condition of bats during staging and swarming periods in Mammoth Cave National Park
view or print   7537 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Response of northern long-eared bats to prescribed fires in eastern Kentucky
view or print   7256 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Using LiDAR to Link Forest Canopy Structure with Bat Activity and Insect Occurrence: Preliminary Findings
view or print   7257 Poster Seasonal Occurrence and Habitat Affiliations of Trichoptera at Mammoth Cave National Park
view or print   7258 Poster First-Year Responses of Forest Bats and Their Arthropod Prey to Prescribed Fire During the Swarming Period at Mammoth Cave National Park
view or print   7259 Poster Investigating the Relationships Between Bats, Insects, and Fire at Mammoth Cave National Park

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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