Bats are bioindicators of the communities to which they belong, giving researchers insight into the overall health of those ecosystems. Bats are also very adaptable and are capable of tolerating urbanization. Some species, such as Lasiurus borealis and Lasionycteris noctivagans may even benefit from adjacent industrial and commercial land use, although this is not the case for all bat species. In 2021, we began acoustic and mist net surveys of bats at McConnell Air Force Base (MAFB, or “base”) in Wichita, KS. However, no bats were captured or seen during mist net surveys, although some were detected acoustically over a four-month period. We also encountered very few insects. These observations lead us to wonder if bat activity differed between MAFB and the surrounding Wichita area. During the summer of 2022, we again conducted mist net surveys, acoustic surveys, collected insect biomass at MAFB, and expanded our surveys to include nearby Wichita parks. We found a significant difference in bat activity in the Wichita parks compared to MAFB. Our most detected species was the Eastern red bat in the parks and MAFB. With this study, we have gotten a closer look into the lives of bats in Wichita, Kansas.
Dr. Lorelei Patrick
Copyright the Author(s)
"Bat activity at McConnell Air Force Base versus nearby parks in Wichita, KS.,"
SACAD: John Heinrichs Scholarly and Creative Activity Days: Vol. 2023, Article 118.
Available at: https://scholars.fhsu.edu/sacad/vol2023/iss2023/118