LONG-TERM BANDING OF CALIFORNIA LEAF-NOSED BATS ALONG THE LOWER COLORADO RIVER TO DETERMINE MOVEMENTS AND LONGEVITY.
Patricia Brown; Brown-Berry Biological Consulting; , Bishop, CA; patbobbat@aol.com; Philip Leitner, Albert Beck, Bruce Miller
California leaf-nosed bats (Macrotus californicus) are residents of the Sonoran Desert in California and Arizona and are active all year. These populations are interesting in part as the northern margin of the semitropical distribution of a non-hibernating Phyllostomid genus. In 1958, a long-term banding study was initiated to examine demography and movements of these bats in the temperate zone along the Lower Colorado River (LCR). The bats were captured principally in the winter in warm mines along the LCR in seven mountain ranges. In 60 years, over 15,000 bats have been banded, and almost 5,000 individuals have been recaptured between one and eight times, for a total of over 8,500 recapture events. Roost fidelity is high, with occasional movements between adjacent mountain ranges between years and seasonally. The longest interval between initial banding and recapture is 16 years which is an impressive age for a bat of tropical ancestry. At the time of banding, the degree of tooth wear (1-4) was recorded initially and during subsequent recaptures, to establish a metric to determine the approximate age of unbanded bats in the population.
Ecology and Conservation of Bats II