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Title: Long distance commutes by lesser long-nosed bats (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae) to visit residential hummingbird feeders

Author: Buecher, Debbie C.; Sidner, Ronnie.;

Date: 2013

Source: In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gebow, Brooke S.; Eskew, Lane G.; Collins, Loa C. Merging science and management in a rapidly changing world: Biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago III and 7th Conference on Research and Resource Management in the Southwestern Deserts; 2012 May 1-5; Tucson, AZ. Proceedings. RMRS-P-67. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 427-433.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Each spring, thousands of female lesser long-nosed bats (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae) migrate from southern Mexico to northern Sonora and southern Arizona to have their young and take advantage of seasonably available forage resources, including nectar, pollen, and fruit of columnar cacti. Once the pups are volant, the population begins to disperse across the grasslands of southeastern Arizona, foraging on flowering paniculate agaves (Agave palmeri) and day-roosting in Madrean Sky Islands during their seasonal migration back to southern Mexico. Although the grasslands surrounding Arivaca, Arizona, have very low densities of naturally occurring agaves, nectar bats are documented visiting area hummingbird feeders to obtain sugar water. To better understand foraging patterns by these bats in an area with few natural food plants, we radio-tracked 28 L. yerbabuenae during 2010 and 2011. We captured bats at area hummingbird feeders and tracked them to a previously unknown day-roost in the Santa Rita Mountains, approximately 40 km away. We discovered that bats nightly performed a long-distance commute from the Santa Rita Mountains to Arivaca, bypassing hummingbird feeders and naturally occurring agaves closer to their day-roost. It may be that the large colony size in the day-roost necessitates long-distance dispersal as a mechanism to reduce competition for limited food resources.

Keywords: Madrean Archipelago, Sky Islands, southwestern United States, northern Mexico, natural environment, fauna, flora, research, management, biodiversity, climate change

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Buecher, Debbie C.; Sidner, Ronnie. 2013. Long distance commutes by lesser long-nosed bats (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae) to visit residential hummingbird feeders. In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gebow, Brooke S.; Eskew, Lane G.; Collins, Loa C. Merging science and management in a rapidly changing world: Biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago III and 7th Conference on Research and Resource Management in the Southwestern Deserts; 2012 May 1-5; Tucson, AZ. Proceedings. RMRS-P-67. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 427-433.

 


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