Project Number: 6202-22000-029-08-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Oct 1, 2010
End Date: Sep 30, 2013
To quantify the timing and abundance of the late-season arrival of migrant crop pest insects, and their impact on foraging behaviors and body condition of Brazilian free-tailed bats.
Several species of crop pest insects (corn earworm, fall armyworm, cabbage looper and stink bugs) will be collected daily from pheromone traps and blacklight traps to identify return (i.e., southward) migration events in central TX (Uvalde and College Station). Bats returning to Frio Cave (near Uvalde) from nightly foraging flights will be netted, and fresh fecal pellets will be collected. The fecal pellets will be analyzed to determine the presence of several insect species in the diet of bats. Temporal changes in the fecal DNA will be correlated with daily insect collections and weather conditions. Changes in timing, locations, and altitudinal distribution of feeding activity of bats will be documented in relation to movements and availability of crop pest insects.