Steven B. Castleberry

Nest Site and Microhabitat Selection by Key Largo Woodrats

Reductions in habitat quantity and quality have contributed to precipitous declines in the Key Largo woodrat (Neotoma floridana smalli) population over the last 30 years. Additional information on microhabitat and nest site selection is needed to increase quality of the remaining habitat and increase the population. In 2005-2006, we evaluated microhabitat selection by comparing structure and composition of vegetation at known woodrat locations to random locations in available areas. We evaluated nest site selection by comparing nest substrate availability and habitat characteristics...


Evaluation of Methods for Monitoring Long-term Population Trends in Cave-roosting Bats

Because numerous cave-roosting bat species are experiencing population declines, especially those affected by the white-nose syndrome epizootic, it is essential to establish rigorous monitoring protocols to accurately track population trends over time. We tested the efficacy of low-cost visual counts to effectively monitor population trends of southeastern myotis (Myotis austroriparius) at a maternity-roost in southwestern Georgia. We conducted visual counts during evening emergence events using white light illumination. Visual counts were made during a 1-minute period out of every 5-...


Comparison of Methods for Estimating Key Largo Woodrat Abundance

Wildlife Outstanding Technical Paper

Monitoring abundance of the endangered Key Largo woodrat (Neotoma floridana smalli) is necessary to understand population responses to prescribed management actions. We compared efficiency of adaptive cluster sampling (ACS) and stratified-random sampling (SRS) for estimating Key Largo woodrat abundance and compared three stratification designs using poststratification. We established 40 trapping grids using a stratified random design and adaptively sampled around grids on which at least 1 individual was captured. We captured 11 individuals on 40 random grids and an additional 22...


Habitat Associations of Bats in South-central West Virginia

Wildlife Outstanding Technical Paper

We conducted acoustic surveys at National Park Service and state park properties in south-central West Virginia to create bat habitat association models across a large, topographically complex and relatively intact Appalachian Hardwood landscape representative of the Allegheny Plateau portion of the central Appalachians. We developed generalized and species-specific groups of a priori habitat association models to predict bat presence using various microhabitat and landscape features linked to body-size, wing morphology, food habits and echolocation call characteristics for seven species....


Bat Community Structure and Activity in Longleaf and Loblolly Pine Forests of Southwest Georgia

The area of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forests have declined whereas intensive pine (Pinus spp.) silviculture has increased on the southeastern landscape. Because effects of differing pine management scenarios on bat community structure and activity are largely unknown, we used mist nets and acoustic surveys to examine these factors on mature longleaf pine and intensively managed loblolly pine (P. taeda) landscapes in southwestern Georgia. We placed mist nets over ponds, small streams, and roadside ditches and placed bat detectors in replicates of four vegetation types (open, closed...


Bat Activity in Upland and Riparian Habitats in the Georgia Piedmont

Detailed knowledge of habitat use patterns of forest bats in the southeastern United States is needed to predict how habitat changes from forest management and other land use practices affect bat communities. We used Anabat detectors to survey bat activity on the Oconee National Forest, Georgia, among 3 loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) stand ages (clearcut, sapling, and mature) and 3 riparian habitat types (creeks, rivers, and open wetlands). We used echolocation calls to assess differences in relative activity and species richness among stand ages and riparian habitat types. We recorded calls...