To test our hypothesis, we studied the invasion dynamics of the WNS fungus by sampling bats of 5 species at 2 hibernacula
in central Illinois, USA.
Methods traditionally employed to survey bat populations include visual counts of roosting bats, evening emergence counts, mark-recapture methods, mist netting, harp trapping, and hibernacula
surveys (Kunz 2003).
WNS primarily kills during the winter, but the true impact of WNS on bat populations cannot be determined using estimates from winter hibernacula
alone," said Nate Zalik, Game Commission wildlife biologist.
1996; Fogell, 2010), and their winter survival in hibernacula
increases with greater saturation levels of substrates (Costanzo, 1986, 1989).
The land trust has been busy building dozens of turtle and snake nesting structures, as well as over-wintering habitats called hibernacula
, and other habitat enhancements to replace the natural areas which have been lost through human changes to the landscape.
The burrows they hibernate in, called hibernacula
, cut off most cues to the world above.
If they survive until spring, bats may still die after leaving their hibernacula
because white-nose syndrome causes severe wing damage, limiting their ability to fly and forage for food.
Biologists refer to the congregation locales as hibernacula
Bats with white muzzles, dead bats on cave floors, or emergence of bats from hibernacula
during mid-winter months (too early in the year to have a reliable food supply) are signs of WNS.
are built by digging a large hole in the ground and then draining away the water to prevent ground frost.
The caves are likewise closed during the winter when they are occupied as hibernacula
Because current conservation measures generally advocate that hibernacula
of bats be disturbed as little as possible, it is important that this extensive dataset be described to provide base-line information about changes in mass of M.