Seasonal fluctuations in urban roost use by Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) in a highway overpass, San Angelo, Texas
Martinez, Stephanie Gabriella
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I surveyed a large population of Tadarida brasiliensis roosting in a highway overpass in San Angelo, Tom Green County, Texas to determine roost use and seasonal patterns of occupancy. I compared occupancy patterns observed in 2014 to those observed when the site was last surveyed in 1995. Population counts and roost use were documented from February 2014 through February 2015. Bat populations ranged from 0 during some winter counts to an estimated high of 191,795 individuals in August. Rainfall affected roosting conditions. During times of precipitation, large numbers of bats temporarily vacated the roost, but they returned when conditions improved. I discovered that this roosting location for T. brasiliensis serves as a maternity roost during the summer. Compared to a previous study conducted on the same roost in 1995, there were similar trends in seasonal occupancy. I concluded that the colony at this roost fluctuates predictably year-round.