A comparison of bat activity at low and high elevations in the Black Hills of Western Washington
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We examined the differences in activity patterns and community structure of bats between low (<150 m) and high (>=575 m) elevation sites in two habitats of the Capitol State Forest, Washington, USA. The forests include a mix of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), western red cedar (Thuja plicata), red alder (Alnus rubra) and bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum). Total bat activity averaged four times higher at low elevation sites than at high elevation sites. Feeding activity was approximately 20 times higher at low elevation sites. However, the non-myotis group had similar activity levels at high and low elevation, whereas myotis group activity decreased at higher elevations. Different levels of activity between elevations could be the result of differences in insect availability, climatic conditions, and morphology of the bat species.