Water availability and successful lactation by bats as related to climate change in arid regions of western North America
Article first published online: 5 AUG 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 British Ecological Society
Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume 77, Issue 6, pages 1115–1121, November 2008
How to Cite
Adams, R. A. and Hayes, M. A. (2008), Water availability and successful lactation by bats as related to climate change in arid regions of western North America. Journal of Animal Ecology, 77: 1115–1121. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2008.01447.x
- Issue published online: 14 OCT 2008
- Article first published online: 5 AUG 2008
- Received 3 March 2008; accepted 22 May 2008; Handling Editor: Corey Bradshaw
- Myotis thysanodes;
- 1Climate change in North America is happening at an accelerated rate, reducing availability of water resources for bats and other wildlife that require it for successful reproduction.
- 2We test the water-needy lactation hypotheses directly by tracking the drinking habitats of individual lactating and non-reproductive female fringed myotis at an artificial water source located near a maternity roost.
- 3We used a submerged passive integrative transponder (PIT) tag reader system designed to track fish to instead record numbers of water source visitations by tagged bats.
- 4Of 24 PIT-tagged adult females, 16 (67%) were detected repeatedly by the plate antenna as they passed to drink between 18 July and 28 August 2006.
- 5The total number of drinking passes by lactating females (n = 255) were significantly higher than those of non-reproductive adult females (n = 22). Overall, lactating females visited 13 times more often to drink water than did non-reproductive females. On average, lactating females visited six times more often per night. Drinking bouts occurred most frequently just after evening emergence and at dawn.
- 6Drinking patterns of non-reproductive females correlated significantly with fluctuating ambient temperature and relative humidity recorded at the water source, whereas lactating females drank extensively regardless of ambient conditions.
- 7We provide a mathematical model to predict the rate of decline in bat populations in the arid West in relation to climate change models for the region.