Fidelity of bats to forest sites revealed from mist-netting recaptures
Although site fidelity to permanent roost structures by bats is generally known, long-term fidelity to areas such as foraging or drinking sites is unknown. Furthermore, mist-net recaptures of bats over multiple years are rarely reported. Extensive mist-net surveys were conducted over the course of 8 y in the Ouachita National Forest of central Arkansas, United States to investigate long-term site fidelity and recapture rates of individually marked forest bats. Among eight species that were captured, five species were recaptured over spans =1 y, including eastern red bats Lasiurus borealis, Seminole bats L. seminolus, evening bats Nycticeius humeralis, tri-colored bats Lasiurus borealis, and northern long-eared bats Myotis septentrionalis. Some individuals were recaptured multiple times over multiple years, and the maximum span over which an individual was recaptured was 1 y for Seminole bats, 2 y for tri-colored bats, 3 y for evening bats, 4 y for eastern red bats, and 5 y for northern long-eared bats. These results indicate long-term site fidelity by multiple bat species to particular forest sites, primarily pools along small intermittent streams. Proximity to these sites should be considered when conducting management activities.