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Title: Development of a Bat Guano and Acoustic Sampling Testing Protocol to Identify Species Occupying VDOT Bridges
Contact: Bridget M. Donaldson
Project No.: 114417
Target Date: 12/31/2021

The goal of this proposed study is to develop a reliable guano sampling and testing protocol to identifythe species of bats occupying VDOT structures. The objectives are to (1) Assess the accuracy of theDNA-based identification protocol from guano (historic and fresh) using ongoingwatershed-level bat acoustic surveys or mist netting as a baseline comparison;(2) correlate bat species occupancy as derived from guano assessment withrelative activity from acoustic monitoring at each site; (3) develop models ofmulti-bat species presence/predicted probability of occurrence relative tobridge type, riparian characteristics and surrounding landscape metricssingularly with DNA results and acoustic results and in combination with bothtechniques for southwest Virginia within and adjacent to the distribution ofthe gray bat, and (4) coordinate with the USFWS to refine these protocols as ameans of verifying the presence/absence of protected bat species at VDOTstructures.

     E. M. Hallerman
     W. Mark Ford
     K. E. Powers
     Bridget M. Donaldson