WNS Concerns & Service Guidance for Myotis Conservation Bats & Fire Workshop Mammoth Cave National Park, Mammoth Cave, Kentucky April 30, 2014

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All Things Bats

WNS Concerns & Service Guidance for Myotis Conservation Bats & Fire WorkshopMammoth Cave National Park, Mammoth Cave, KentuckyApril 30, 2014

OVERVIEWWNS ObservationsGray BatsIndiana BatsNorthern Long-eared BatsLittle Brown BatsTricolored BatsImproved Understanding of Where Bats Persist on the LandscapeSurvey guidanceOther methods being researchedProposed Listings & Status AssessmentsWNS- Observations from the SoutheastEarliest infected sites in NC and TN have had declines similar to other NE states (~95% winter)Smaller declines now being observed in KYNC also reporting summer capture declines

Gray BatsDe-listing of gray bats put on hold once WNS arrived in U.S.WNS confirmed from a few gray bats in TNObserved large scale movements of some hibernating populations in TN & ARWNS related?Populations remain stable to increasing although WNS confirmed as early as 2011Indiana Bat Population Trends8/26/2013Indiana BatsWNS confirmed on individuals in TN & KYVisible fungus always observed after MYLU, PESU, & MYSE(2nd year)Large scale movements of some hibernating populations in INApproximately 20% decline in some minor KY hibernacula during winter of 2014Few sites surveyed are mostly stable in TN during this non-Indiana bat year

Northern Long-eared BatsDifficult to assess impact due to hibernation strategyDeclines reported from wintering populations in NC & TNPre- and Post- WNS wintering populations trends in KY are variable Some population spikes in numbers of bats documented within a year of WNS infectionDocumented mortality as far west as AR (January 2014)Summer capture rates remain stable currentlyTypically 3rd most common species throughout much of the Southeast including KY

Little Brown BatsLittle brown bat populations decliningStates with sites of multi-year infection are seeing significant declines (NC, TN & KY)Approximately 60% in many KY hibernaculum (2014)Some sites are remaining stable

Tricolored BatsPerhaps the most visibly impacted species thus far in the SoutheastDifficult to assess overall impact on hibernating populationsPopulation spikes at hibernaculum post infection as individuals move towards entrancesBiologists in NC, TN, KY, GA, and AL observed hanging dead tricolored bats at multiple hibernaculum in over the last two wintersWe know significant mortality is occurring but overall numbers in hibernaculum are not much different than pre-WNS estimates

Improving Detection of SpeciesVitally important to know where populations persist so that adequate protection is provided when needed

P/A Survey GuidanceAcoustic LuresWildlife Detection Dogs102014 Indiana BatSummer Survey Guidance

112014 Guidelines:A Phased ApproachInitial Project Screening - existing records search and habitat assessmentPresence-Absence Surveys - conduct mist netting OR acoustic surveysFollow-up Mist-netting Surveys (optional) to capture any bats initially detected in Phase 2 surveys.Radio-tracking & Emergence Surveys12

42 net nights9 net nights2014 LOE4 detector nightsWhite Paper RecommendationsVarying netting LOE based on WNS status in RU

Definition of WNS-impacted RU for survey protocols:If winter counts document that 50% of Priority 1 and 2 hibernacula within a RU decline by 30% from their most recent pre-WNS population estimates OR the total RU population declines by 30% from their most recent pre-WNS population estimates, then that RU should be considered WNS-impactedWhite Paper Recommendations2014 (based on pre-WNS and 2013 pop. #s)WNS-impacted RUs:Northeast (70% decline) and Appalachian (45.8% decline)

NOT WNS-impacted RUs:Midwest (2.5% decline) and Ozark-Central (no decline)Northern Long-Eared Bat2014Use Indiana bat summer protocols based on initial data

2015 and beyondGather additional data (acoustic/netting)Request and analyze survey reports Estimate detection/occupancy rates

Develop level of effort and determine if NLEB Survey Guidance Team is needed based on results (i.e., are there significant differences in results from Indiana bat?)Improving Detection of Indiana BatsAcoustic Lure StudyPlayback of bat vocalizations to attract bats to mist-nets and increase capture successIBCF funded study within known maternity colony in KYPositive results after two summers with increased capture of not only Indiana bats but all species of bats compared to previous capture rates within same colony home rangeImproving Detection of Indiana BatsWildlife Detection DogsOne dog trained to detect Indiana bat guanoKYFO working with handler to evaluate dogs abilities and determine applicability in context of consultation and recovery workloadRoost trees and hibernacula

NLEB Proposed Listingas endangered due to WNSFR Notice published October 2, 2013Public comment period closed January 2014Service currently considering comments submittedAlmost all SE states have populations of NLEBKY & TN have highest numbersService Team currently working on Conference/ Consultation and Conservation GuidanceInterim Conference Guidance (finalized Jan 2014)Consultation & Conservation Guidance (Oct 2014)Section 10 PermitsRecommendations for past, present, and future projects

Species Status Assessment UpdatesLittle Brown Bat

Tricolored Bat

TimelineUSGS/USFWS little brown bat demographic modelExpert Elicitation Range wideSeveral working groups (for example: genetics, dist/abund, ecology)Completed April 2013

Thus we:1) Partnered with the USGS to create a species demographic model to help inform our assessment, including extinction risk (for limited geographic ranges of the species), help understand possible effects of WNS.

Conducted a expert elicitation based on SDM (structured decision making) principlesAttempted to include as broad panel as possible (included experts from across the range from Federal, State, academia, as well as Canadian experts and academia).Working groups included: genetics/taxonomy, species ecology/biology, distribution/abundance, WNS transmission, other stressors (besides WNSie wind power), and post-WNS.Final report completed in April of 2013.21Current ActivitiesContinuing to work on status assessmentIncludes examining all listable entities under the ESA (species level, subspecies, or any possible distinct population segment (s))Midwest Region Lead ContactKarl TinsleyKarl_Tinsley@fws.gov612-713-5330 (office)

Tricolored BatService Initiated AssessmentTimelineInitial stages of reviewIn the process of summarizing data collected during 2011 multi-species requestAnticipate a second request for new information going out in MayAfter winter surveys and spring emergence workValidating recent publications on range expansion

Interested in:Interpreting the population spikes that are consistently being documented during first years of WNS arrival at hibernaculumHopeful the analysis of new data will help

Northeast Region Lead ContactsJonathan ReichardNational WNS Assistant CoordinatorJonathan_Reichard@fws.gov413-253-8258 (office)413-335-2886 (cell)

Christina KocerNortheast Region WNS CoordinatorChristina_Kocer@fws.gov413-253-8215 (office)413-335-4482 (cell)