Emily D. Thorne

Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Polytechnic and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061

Second Guessing the Maximum Likelihood Estimator Values for Bat Surveys

SEAFWA Journal Volume 11, March 2024

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allows acoustical surveys and automated identification software to determine the presence of the endangered northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) and Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis). Analytical software is required to assess presence probability on a site-night basis using a maximum likelihood estimator (MLE) that accounts for interspecific bat misclassification rates. The current standard for occupancy is a returned MLE P-value < 0.05 at the nightly level irrespective of the number of files identified as either northern long-...