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Effect of roost choice on winter torpor patterns of a free-ranging insectivorous bat

Effect of roost choice on winter torpor patterns of a free-ranging insectivorous bat Goulds wattled bat (Chalinolobus gouldii) is one of only three native Australian mammals with an Australia-wide distribution. However, currently no data are available on the thermal physiology of free-ranging C. gouldii. Therefore, we aimed to quantify the effect of roost choice on daily skin temperature fluctuations during winter in C. gouldii living in an agricultural landscape in a temperate region. Ambient conditions consisted of long periods below 0C and snow. Some individuals roosted high in dead branches whereas one individual roosted in a large cavity located low in a live tree. Torpor was employed on every day of the study period by all bats, with bouts lasting for over five days. The skin temperature of individuals in the dead branches tracked ambient temperature, with skin temperatures below 3C on 67% of bat-days (lowest recorded 0.2C). In contrast, the individual in the tree cavity maintained a larger skin-ambient temperature differential, likely influenced by the internal cavity temperature. Our study presents the lowest skin temperature recorded for a free-ranging Australian microbat and reveals that roost choice affects the thermal physiology of C. gouldii, ensuring survival during periods of cold weather and limited food supply. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Australian Journal of Zoology CSIRO Publishing

Effect of roost choice on winter torpor patterns of a free-ranging insectivorous bat

Australian Journal of Zoology , Volume 64 (2): 6 – Jul 28, 2016

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Publisher
CSIRO Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © American Meteorological Society
ISSN
0004-959X
eISSN
1446-5698
DOI
10.1071/ZO16030
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Goulds wattled bat (Chalinolobus gouldii) is one of only three native Australian mammals with an Australia-wide distribution. However, currently no data are available on the thermal physiology of free-ranging C. gouldii. Therefore, we aimed to quantify the effect of roost choice on daily skin temperature fluctuations during winter in C. gouldii living in an agricultural landscape in a temperate region. Ambient conditions consisted of long periods below 0C and snow. Some individuals roosted high in dead branches whereas one individual roosted in a large cavity located low in a live tree. Torpor was employed on every day of the study period by all bats, with bouts lasting for over five days. The skin temperature of individuals in the dead branches tracked ambient temperature, with skin temperatures below 3C on 67% of bat-days (lowest recorded 0.2C). In contrast, the individual in the tree cavity maintained a larger skin-ambient temperature differential, likely influenced by the internal cavity temperature. Our study presents the lowest skin temperature recorded for a free-ranging Australian microbat and reveals that roost choice affects the thermal physiology of C. gouldii, ensuring survival during periods of cold weather and limited food supply.

Journal

Australian Journal of ZoologyCSIRO Publishing

Published: Jul 28, 2016

References