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Abstract

During the period 22 November 1999 – 11 October 2001, winter hibernacula surveys, spring staging/autumn swarming surveys, and summer surveys for bats were completed in caves of Skydusky Hollow, Bland County, Virginia. During winter, 12 caves were entered and 16,185 bats counted: 235 Myotis sodalis (Indiana bat), 14,475 Myotis lucifugus (little brown myotis), 12 Myotis septentrionalis (northern myotis), 7 Myotis leibii (eastern small-footed myotis), 1,441 Pipistrellus subflavus (eastern pipistrelle), and 15 Eptesicus fuscus (big brown bat). Myotis sodalis hibernated in thermally stable areas of 7 -9 ̊C. The largest concentration of M. lucifugus (n = 4,280) hibernated in an area that was cooler (6.5 ̊C) than areas used by M. sodalis. The remaining 6,300 M. lucifugus hibernated at temperatures similar to, or slightly cooler than, temperatures used by M. sodalis. Intra-cave (and possibly inter-cave) movements of M. lucifugus and M. sodalis during the season of hibernation concentrated bats in cooler areas of the caves. An unusually large concentration of P. subflavus (n = 920) hibernated in Coon Cave in a warm (8.6 – 9.7 ̊C, stable environment. Proportions of species of bats captured during spring staging and autumn swarming varied from proportions found during winter hibernation. Mating and perhaps other social functions affect patterns of autumn use. No concentration of bats used the caves during summer.

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