Ecology of Corynorhinus Townsendii Virginianus in North Carolina

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is planning various transportation improvement program (TIP) projects that are in close proximity to a primary winter roost site for this species. This federally endangered species is an obligate cave-roosting bat found in isolated populations in only 4 states; further, there are very limited data on its distribution, and roosting and foraging ecology in western North Carolina. Therefore, it is almost impossible to anticipate how proposed NCDOT highway and bridge projects will affect the species. The study, which will begin in Fall 2012, will take place in Avery, Caldwell, and Watauga counties in western North Carolina and surrounding areas. The objectives are to identify maternity roosts for Virginia big-eared bats in western North Carolina, to document seasonal movements between hibernacula and maternity sites, and to identify foraging locations. The project will use data from acoustic monitoring and cave observations to predict spring emergence times and will also conduct a comprehensive radio telemetry study, using active and passive telemetry approaches to follow 20 individual bats each year in Spring 2013 and 2014. The study will be completed by the Principle Investigator (PI), a graduate student, and seasonal technicians, all representing Indiana State University. The project will employ a subcontractor for aerial telemetry surveys. The project will also anticipate cooperation by biologists from NCDOT, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, NC Division of Parks and Recreation, and US Fish and Wildlife Service. Results of the study will be shared with agency partners and other biologists through data sharing, meetings, reports, presentations, and peer-reviewed publications. Data collected in this study will significantly expand the knowledge of Virginia big-eared bat ecology. The project will gather data on overall population health, and identify roosting and foraging locations. These data will enable us to better predict and mitigate for the effects of development projects within the range of Virginia big-eared bats. This study will provide NCDOT with essential data for writing Biological Assessments and will provide the US Fish and Wildlife Service with data to produce Biological Opinions necessary to allow NCDOT projects to proceed. The data collected in this study will eliminate uncertainties about TIP projects in Watauga, Avery and portions of Caldwell counties, thereby allowing the timely completion of these projects. The project will also allow NCDOT to anticipate what, if any, avoidance and minimization measures may be needed for upcoming projects.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $307278.00
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    North Carolina Department of Transportation

    Research and Development
    1549 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC  United States  27699-1549
  • Project Managers:

    Kirby, John

  • Performing Organizations:

    Indiana State University

    200 North Seventh Street
    Terre Haute, Indiana  United States  47809
  • Principal Investigators:

    O'Keefe, Joy

  • Start Date: 20121101
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20150531
  • Source Data: RiP Project 32923

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01466629
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: North Carolina Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: FHWA/NC/2013-35
  • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 3:20PM