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Movement patterns of Lesser Long-nosed bats (Leptonycteriscurasoae) within the City of Tucson and Town of Marana: management implications for the Habitat Conservation Plan

 

Background:
The lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris curasoae) is a federally listed endangered species that feeds on the nectar, pollen and fruit from flowers of columnar cacti such as saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) and organ pipe cactus (Stenocereus thurberi), and from paniculate agaves such as Palmer's agave (Agave palmeri) and Parry's agave (A. parryi).  Lesser long-nosed bats migrate up from northern Mexico and arrive in south-central Arizona when columnar cactus begin flowering in late spring.  The bats exploit the nectar and then fruit of saguaros while moving east across southern Arizona.  During late summer and early fall the lesser longed-nosed bats reach southeast Arizona where their primary food source becomes agaves and urban hummingbird feeders.    During this west to east movement across southern Arizona, L. curasoae comes in contact with the sprawling metropolis of Tucson.  The degree of urbanization that a lesser long-nosed bat will tolerate to forage and move through is not well understood

Location:
Within the planning boundaries of the City of Tucson and the Town of Marana Habitat Conservation Plan Boundaries.

Approach:
During late summer and early fall months we will attempt to tag a minimum of 15 bats with VHF radio transmitters within the Fig 1city of Tucson and Town of Marana.  Bats will be captured using mist nets set at hummingbird feeders.  Transmitters (0.4 g), weighing less than three percent of the total bat’s weight, will be glued to a bat’s back using medical skin glue.  These transmitters should last a minimum of 8-10 days.  Using two vehicles we will follow each bat tagged with a radio transmitter for a minimum of three consecutive nights.  Telemetry locations will be determined utilizing Lenth’s (1981) maximum likelihood estimator (LOAS 3.0.3 Ecological Solutions Software).  We will map the movement corridors, foraging patches and roost sites used by each bat and identify the land use within these areas.

Benefits: 
The purpose of this project is to determine the movement patterns (e.g., flight corridors, location of foraging patches and night roosts) in and around the city of Tucson and Town of Marana, concentrating on the lands within the jurisdiction of the city’s Habitat Conservation Plan. Movement information will be shared with local urban planners so as to manage for the persistence of this endangered wildlife species.

Coordination:

  • Conducted in and around Tucson at hummingbird feeders monitored by Hummingbird Feeder Watch Group. (75 citizen scientists coordinated across
  • Funding provided by Habitat Conservation Funding through The City of Tucson and The Town of Marana.
  • Coordinated with Tim Snow (AZGFD) and Scott Richardson (USFWS), Karen Krebbs (Sonoran Desert Museum), Western Bat Working Group, Multiple Bat Scientists
Fig 2

 

For more information contact:
Shawn F. Lowery , Arizona Game and Fish Department
5000 W. Carefree Highway Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000
Phone: (520) 742-1911  Email:  slowery@azgfd.gov

Michael Ingraldi, Arizona Game and Fish Department
5000 W. Carefree Highway Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000
Phone: (928) 532-5625 Email: mingraldi@frontiernet.net



 
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