Wintering Bats of the Upper Snake River Plain: Occurrence in Lava-Tube Caves
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Distribution and habitat selection of hibernating bats at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) and adjacent area are reported. Exploration of over 30 lava-tube caves revealed that two species, Myotis leibii and Plecotus townsendii, hibernate in the upper Snake River Plain. Five species, M. lucifugus, M. evotis, Eptesicus fuscus, Lasionycteris noctivagans, and Lasiurus cinereus are considered migratory. Myotis leibii and P. townsendii hibernate throughout much of the area, occasionally in mixed-species groups. Myotis leibii uses the dark and protected regions of the cave, usually wedged into tiny pockets and crevices near or at the highest portion of the ceiling. Individuals of P. townsendii may be found at any height or depth in the cave. Temperature appears to be the primary limiting factor in habitat selection. Myotis leibii was found in significantly cooler air temperatures than P. townsendii. Neither species tolerated continuous temperatures below 1.5 C. Relative humidity does not seem to be a significant factor in the distribution or habitat selection of the two species in lava-tube caves.
Bats, Caves, Habitat Selection, Relative Humidity, Hibernation, Ecoregions, Basalt, Ecological Life Histories, Biochemistry
The Great Basin Naturalist, Vol. 46, no. 3 (1986-04-30).
Genter, David L., "Wintering Bats of the Upper Snake River Plain: Occurrence in Lava-Tube Caves" (1986). KIP Articles. 5656.