Site Fidelity and Sex Ratios of Eastern Pipistrelles (Pipistrellus subflavus) Hibernating in a Central Texas Cave




Moren, Sara D.

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Site fidelity and sex ratios of hibernating eastern pipistrelles (Pipistrellus subflams) were studied in Gorman Cave at Colorado Bend State Park, Texas, from 2001 2002, with one visit in January 2003. Bats were tagged with Passive Integrated Transponders and information about each individual was recorded including gender, weight, and location in the cave. The sex ratio of eastern pipistrelles in Gorman Cave remained equal for the entirety of the study most likely due to the mild winter climate in central Texas. A large percentage of bats were captured only one time (41.6%). Of 149-tagged individuals, 18.7% were captured five or more times. Size of area used was calculated for these bats. Males (x̄ = 4.41 m2) and females (x̄ = 10.12 m2) had similar size use areas. Females moved farther than males on each successive recapture (x̄ = 12.66 m versus x̄ = 8.66 m), however, this was not statistically different. Females, in general, had stronger site fidelity, although several males did demonstrate strong site fidelity. Microclimatic variables influenced the location of eastern pipistrelles in the cave; and a second order curvilinear relationship between abundance of bats and temperature (r2 = 0.26, F = 6.21, p < 0.01) and humidity (r2 = 0.16, F = 3.93, p < 0.05) was detected. Female body mass averaged 5.8 g, which was significantly more than males which averaged 5.6 g (p < 0.05).



Bats, Hibernation, Eastern Pipistrelles, Central Texas


Moren, S. D. (2003). <i>Site fidelity and sex ratios of eastern pipistrelles (Pipistrellus subflavus) hibernating in a central Texas cave</i> (Unpublished thesis). Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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