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Tuesday, January 30 • 3:40pm - 4:00pm
SMALL MAMMALS: Modeling the Effects of White-nose Syndrome on the Bat Community of Wisconsin

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AUTHORS. Jordan J. Meyer, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point; Robin E. Russell, USGS National Wildlife Health Center; Scott E. Hygnstrom, Jason D. Riddle, Christopher J. Yahnke - University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

ABSTRACT. White-nose syndrome (hereafter; WNS) is a disease caused by an invasive fungal pathogen (Pseudogymnoascus destructans), which is traumatically affecting several cave-dwelling bat species of North America. WNS has spread to numerous counties in Wisconsin since its initial discovery in 2014. This disease has already begun to greatly impact half of the available bat species of Wisconsin, big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus), little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), and tri-colored bat (Perimyotis subflavus). Understanding how this disease could shift community dynamics regionally is a current focus of research. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources established 5 permanent long-term bat monitoring stations (LTBMS) at Cofrin Arboretum, Kemp Natural Resource Station, Schmeeckle Reserve, the Urban Ecology Center, and the University of Wisconsin - Madison Arboretum in the year 2007. These LTBMS record echolocation calls, which were automatically classified to species and then manually vetted. This study evaluates the site occupancy of Wisconsin’s bat species at these LTBMS using a hierarchal Bayesian multispecies model. By comparing the community dynamics prior to the 2014 discovery of WNS in Wisconsin to the years that follow, this study could greatly improve the understanding the impact that this disease poses as it encroaches across North America.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 3:40pm - 4:00pm CST