Evaluating the effectiveness of three acoustic monitoring techniques for landscape level bat population monitoring

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Whitby, Michael D.
Carter, Timothy C.
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Thesis (M.S.)
Department of Biology
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Understanding population trends of any species is essential to its conservation and management. However, landscape level population status of many bat species is poorly understood. In an effort to resolve this issue, especially with emerging threats (e.g. White-nose Syndrome and wind energy) a national mobile acoustic monitoring protocol was developed to survey summer bat populations along roadways. However, some species are known to occur more frequently near or along river corridors, leading us to hypothesize that mobile transect conducted from boats may provide an opportunity to monitor more bat species than road based surveys. To determine the most efficient method, we compared species richness and abundance along river and road transects. We further compared species richness and sampling time of stand and landscape levels mobile methods to mist-netting and stationary acoustic detectors, respectively, to better understand the capabilities of mobile acoustic transects compared to more familiar methods.