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Title: Monitoring Sensitive Bat Species at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Bats play a critical role in ecosystems and are vulnerable to disturbance and disruption by human activities. In recent decades, bat populations in the United States and elsewhere have decreased tremendously. There are 47 different species of bat in the United States and 28 of these occur in New Mexico with 15 different species documented at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and surrounding areas. Euderma maculatum(the spotted bat) is listed as “threatened” by the state of New Mexico and is known to occur at LANL. Four other species of bats are listed as “sensitive” and also occur here. In 1995, a four year study was initiated at LANL to assess the status of bat species of concern, elucidate distribution and relative abundance, and obtain information on roosting sites. There have been no definitive studies since then. Biologists in the Environmental Protection Division at LANL initiated a multi-year monitoring program for bats in May 2013 to implement the Biological Resources Management Plan. The objective of this ongoing study is to monitor bat species diversity and seasonal activity over time at LANL. Bat species diversity and seasonal activity were measured using an acoustic bat detector, the Pettersson D500X. This ultrasound recordingmore » unit is intended for long-term, unattended recording of bat and other high frequency animal calls. During 2013, the detector was deployed at two locations around LANL. Study sites were selected based on proximity to water where bats may be foraging. Recorded bat calls were analyzed using Sonobat, software that can help determine specific species of bat through their calls. A list of bat species at the two sites was developed and compared to lists from previous studies. Species diversity and seasonal activity, measured as the number of call sequences recorded each month, were compared between sites and among months. A total of 17,923 bat calls were recorded representing 15 species. Results indicate that there is a statistically significant relationship between bat diversity and month of the year. Future studies will be implemented based on these findings.« less
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
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Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States