Medium- and long-term reuse of trembling aspen cavities as roosts by big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus)
Roost availability may limit some bat populations, implying that there may be a selective advantage associated with the ability to reuse sites on an annual basis. We monitored aspen tree use by Eptesicus fuscus during multi-year studies (spanning up to 10 years) at the same site in Saskatchewan, Canada. We found that reuse of live trees over the medium-term (three years) was common and that, in some instances, reuse over the long-term (nine and 10 years) can occur. Our data also suggest that, over the medium-term, aspen roosts are reused by groups of bats more often than by solitary individuals. Our findings support the hypothesis that cavity roosting bats exhibit between year loyalty, not just to patches of forest but also to specific trees.
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