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Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2012-0078; 4500030113]

RIN 1018-AY15

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Endangered Species Status for the Florida Bonneted Bat

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Proposed rule; request for public comments.
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, propose to list the Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus), as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This proposed rule, if made final, would extend the Act's protections to this species. We have found that critical habitat is prudent but not determinable at this time due to lack of knowledge of which physical and biological features are essential to the conservation of the species. The Service seeks data and comments from the public on this proposed listing rule and on the biological needs of the species that will enable the Service to define critical habitat for this species.
DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before December 3, 2012. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (seeADDRESSESsection, below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. We must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown inFOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACTby November 19, 2012.
ADDRESSES: (1)Electronically:Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal:http://www.regulations.gov.In the Search box, enter FWS-R4-ES-2012-0078, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. You may submit a comment by clicking on "Comment Now!"

(2)By hard copy:Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R4-ES-2012-0078; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.

We request that you send comments only by the methods described above. We will post all comments onhttp://www.regulations.gov.This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see the Information Requested section below for more information).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larry Williams, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, South Florida Ecological Services Office, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, Florida 32960-3559, by telephone 772-562-3909, ext. 285, by facsimile 772-562-4288. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This document consists of: (1) A proposed rule to list the Florida bonneted bat as an endangered species; (2) a finding that designation of critical habitat for the species is prudent; and (3) a finding that critical habitat is not determinable at this time because the biological needs of the species are not sufficiently well known to permit identification of areas as critical habitat.

Information Requested

We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request comments or information from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, Native American tribes, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties concerning this proposed rule. We particularly seek comments concerning:

(1) Additional information concerning the historical and current status, range, distribution, and population size of this species, including the locations of any additional populations or colonies of this species.

(2) Any information on the biological or ecological requirements of the species, especially life history information and habitat needs (e.g., preferred roosting and foraging habitat, nightly and seasonal movements, dispersal capabilities, diet, and seasonal changes in diet), and ongoing conservation measures for the species and its habitat.

(3) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning any threats (or lack thereof) to this species and regulations that may be addressing those threats.

(4) Current or planned land use activities in the areas occupied by the species and possible impacts of these activities on this species.

(5) Additional information regarding the threats under the five listing factors:

(a) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range;

(b) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes;

(c) Disease or predation;

(d) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; and

(e) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.

We are particularly interested in information regarding threats from disease; predation; climate change; impacts to prey base, including insect abundance and availability; impacts from wind energy and other land use projects; inadvertent or purposeful removal or displacement of Florida bonneted bats; use of bat exclusion devices at inappropriate times; and regulations or conservation measures that may be addressing these threats.

(6) What physical or biological features (e.g., space, food, water, cover or shelter, sites for breeding and rearing of offspring, protected habitats) are essential to the conservation of the species.

(7) The reasons why we should or should not designate habitat as “critical habitat” under section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531et seq.), including the benefits of or possible risks of designation, including any possible adverse effects to Florida bonneted bats or roosts once their locations are published (e.g., targeted actions to discourage the use of roosts, intentional or excessive disturbance to roosts, removal of individuals from roosts, use of exclusion devices at inappropriate times, other persecution directed at the species), and any other risks associated with publication of maps designating any area on which the species may be located, now or in the future, as critical habitat.

(8) Specific information on:

(a) The amount and distribution of habitat for the Florida bonneted bat;

(b) What areas, which are occupied at the time of listing (or are currently occupied) contain features essential to the conservation of the species, should be included in a designation and why;

(c) Special management considerations or protection that may be needed in critical habitat areas, including managing for the potential effects of climate change; and

(d) What areas not occupied at the time of listing are essential for the conservation of the species and why.

(9) Information on the projected and reasonably likely impacts of climatechange on the Florida bonneted bat and its habitat.

Please note that submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the action under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination, as section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that determinations as to whether any species is a threatened or endangered species must be made “solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.”

You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed rule by one of the methods listed in theADDRESSESsection. We request that you send comments only by the methods described in theADDRESSESsection.

If you submit information viahttp://www.regulations.gov,your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the Web site. If your submission is made via a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions onhttp://www.regulations.gov.Please include sufficient information with your comments to allow us to verify any scientific or commercial information you include.

Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection onhttp://www.regulations.gov,or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, South Florida Ecological Services Office (seeFOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

Executive Summary

This document consists of: (1) A proposed rule to list the Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus) as an endangered species; (2) a finding that designation of critical habitat for the species is prudent; and (3) a finding that critical habitat is not determinable at this time due to our current lack of understanding of the physical and biological habitat features essential to the conservation of the species.

Why we need to publish a rule.Under the Act, a species or subspecies may warrant protection through listing if it is an endangered or threatened species throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The Florida bonneted bat is currently a candidate species known to exist only in south Florida. The species has a small estimated population size and faces numerous and immediate threats throughout its very restricted range and, therefore, qualifies for listing. Protections under the Act can only be accomplished through issuing proposed and final rules. This document proposes the protection of the species and is based upon our careful review of the status of the species and the threats it faces, using the best available information. Additionally, we seek data and comments from peer reviewers, government agencies and Tribes, stakeholders, and the public on this proposed listing rule and on possible critical habitat for the species.

The basis for our action.Under the Act, a species may be determined to be an endangered or threatened species based on any of five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) Disease or predation; (D) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. Based on our analysis below, we have determined that the Florida bonneted bat qualifies for listing as an endangered species due to three of these five factors (Factors A, D, and E).

Peer review of our methods.We will obtain review and opinions from knowledgeable individuals with scientific expertise on our technical assumptions, analysis, adherence to regulations, and whether or not we used the best available information in developing this proposed rule. Their review will be requested during the public comment period.

Acronyms and Abbreviations Used in This Document

We use many acronyms and abbreviations throughout this proposed rule. To assist the reader, we provide a list of these here for easy reference:

Babcock-Webb WMA = Fred C. Babcock/Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Area BCNP = Big Cypress National Preserve CCSP = U.S. Climate Change Science Program ENP = Everglades National Park FBC = Florida Bat Conservancy FBWG = Florida Bat Working Group FDACS = Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services FDEP = Florida Department of Environmental Protection FFS = Florida Forest Service FNAI = Florida Natural Areas Inventory FPL = Florida Power and Light FR = Federal Register FSPSP = Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park FTBG = Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden FWC = Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission IPCC = Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change NPS = National Park Service OC = Organochlorine OP = Organophospate PSSF = Picayune Strand State Forest SFWMD = South Florida Water Management District WMA = Wildlife Management Area WNS = White-nose syndrome Previous Federal Actions

The Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus) was previously known as the Florida mastiff bat (Eumops glaucinus floridanus).

On September 18, 1985, we published a Review of Vertebrate Wildlife for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species (50 FR 37958), which included the Florida mastiff bat as a category 2 candidate species for possible future listing as an endangered or threatened species. Category 2 candidates were those taxa for which information contained in our files indicated that listing may be appropriate, but for which additional data were needed to support a listing proposal. In a January 6, 1989, Animal Notice of Review (54 FR 554), the Florida mastiff bat continued as a category 2 candidate. On November 21, 1991, the Florida mastiff bat was upgraded from a category 2 to a category 1 species in an Animal Candidate Review for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species (56 FR 58804), characterized as having a declining trend (indicating decreasing numbers or increasing threats or both). It remained a category 1 candidate (declining trend) in the 1994 review (59 FR 58982). In 1996, the Florida mastiff bat was removed from the candidate list (61 FR 7596) because the taxon was deemed to be more abundant or widespread than previously believed or not subject to any identifiable threat.

On November 9, 2009, we recognized the Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus) as a Federal candidate species in our annual Candidate Notice of Review (74 FR 57804) with a Listing Priority Number of 2 (threats high in magnitude and imminent). This action constituted a 12-month finding for the species in which it was determined that listing the species was warranted but precluded by other higher priority listing actions.

On January 29, 2010, we received a petition from Wild South to list the Florida bonneted bat as an endangered species and to designate critical habitat pursuant to the Act (O'Malley 2010). The petition heavily relied upon the Service's 2009 species assessment, but did not provide any new substantialinformation. On February 17, 2010, we responded to the petitioner, indicating that we had previously determined that the listing of the species was warranted but precluded and that, through the Candidate Notice of Review process, we annually determine whether listing remains warranted but precluded.

On May 10, 2011, the Service announced a work plan to restore biological priorities and certainty to the Service's listing process. As part of an agreement with one of the agency's most frequent plaintiffs, the Service filed a work plan with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The work plan will enable the agency to, over a period of 6 years, systematically review and address the needs of more than 250 species listed within the 2010 Candidate Notice of Review, including the Florida bonneted bat, to determine if this species should be added to the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. This work plan will enable the Service to again prioritize its workload based on the needs of candidate species, while also providing State wildlife agencies, stakeholders, and other partners clarity and certainty about when listing determinations will be made. On July 12, 2011, the Service reached an agreement with a frequent plaintiff group and further strengthened the work plan, which will allow the agency to focus its resources on the species most in need of protection under the Act. These agreements were approved on September 9, 2011. The timing of this proposed listing is, in part, therefore, an outcome of the work plan.

The Service's decision to propose listing of the Florida bonneted bat resulted from our careful review of the status of the species and the threats it faces.

Endangered Species Status for the Florida Bonneted Bat Background

The Florida bonneted bat is a member of the Molossidae (free-tailed bats) family within the order Chiroptera. The species is approximately 130 to 165 millimeters (mm) (5.1 to 6.5 inches [in]) in length (Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 857) and the largest bat in Florida (Owre 1978, p. 43; Belwood 1992, p. 216; Florida Bat Conservancy [FBC] 2005, p. 1). The length of the tail ranges from 46 to 57 mm (1.8 to 2.2 in), hind foot 11 to 15 mm (0.4 to 0.6 in), ear 20 to 30 mm (0.8 to 1.2 in), and forearm 60.8 to 66.0 mm (2.39 to 2.60 in) (Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 857). Masses average 39.7 grams (g) (1.4 ounces [oz]) and range from 30.2 to 46.6 grams (1.1 to 1.6 oz) (Owre 1978, p. 43; Belwood 1981, p. 412; Belwood 1992, p. 216; Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 857). A pregnant female with a single fetus weighed 55.4 g (2.0 oz) (Belwood 1981, p. 412). Males and females are not significantly different in size (Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 857). Timm and Genoways (2004, p. 857) found no pattern of size-related geographic variation in this species.

Members of the genusEumopshave large, rounded pinnae (ears), arising from a single point or joined medially on the forehead (Bestet al.1997, p. 1). The common name of “bonneted bat” originates from characteristic large broad ears, which project forward over the eyes (FBC 2005, p. 1). Ears are joined at the midline of the head. This feature, along with its large size, distinguish the Florida bonneted bat from the smaller Brazilian (=Mexican) free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis), the only other molossid to occur in Florida (Belwood 1992, p. 216).

Wings of the members of the genusEumopsare among the narrowest of all molossids (Freeman 1981, as cited in Bestet al.1997, p. 3) and are well-adapted for rapid, prolonged flight (Vaughan 1959 as cited in Bestet al.1997, p. 3). This wing structure is conducive to high-speed flight in open areas (Findleyet al.1972 as cited in Bestet al.1997, p. 3).

The Florida bonneted bat's fur is short and glossy, with hairs sharply bicolored with a white base (Belwood 1992, p. 216; Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 857). Like other molossids, color is highly variable; color varies from black to brown to brownish-gray or cinnamon brown with ventral pelage paler than dorsal (Owre 1978, p. 43; Belwood 1992, p. 216; Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 857). The basisphenoid pits (paired depressions in the basisphenoid bone) of the skull are ovoid (egg-shaped) and moderately deep (Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 857). The tail projects beyond the interfemoral membrane (skin that stretches between the legs) (Owre 1978, p. 43; Belwood 1992, p. 216).

Taxonomy

Allen (1932, pp. 256-259) first described a new genus and species of Pleistocene free-tailed bat,Molossides floridanus,from a jaw of a single specimen. Rayet al.(1963, pp. 373, 377-381) transferredMolossides floridanusto the genusEumops.The genusEumopswas later revised (Koopman 1971, pp. 1-6; Eger 1977, pp. 1-69; Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 859). Koopman (1971, pp. 1-6) found specimens ofEumopsfrom Florida that have been identified asE. glaucinusto be markedly larger than tropical American specimens of that species and regardedfloridanusas a well-marked subspecies ofE. glaucinus.Until recently, two subspecies ofE. glaucinushad been recognized:E. glaucinus floridanus,which occurs in Florida, andE. glaucinus glaucinus,which occurs from central Mexico to southeastern Brazil and northwestern Argentina, and Cuba and Jamaica in the Greater Antilles (Eger 1977, pp. 39-43).

Timm and Genoways (2004, p. 852) reviewed and reassessed the taxonomic status of bats of the genusEumops.They found considerable geographic variation among specimens of bonneted bats (then namedE. glaucinus) and determined thatE. glaucinusis in fact a species-group consisting of more than one species. Timm and Genoways (2004, pp. 852, 855, 859) determined that bonneted bats in Florida are significantly larger than those in all other populations and have other distinguishing skeletal morphology, including the following: proportionally shorter and deeper basisphenoid pits (bony cavities inside the nose), glenoid fossa (mandibular fossa or depression in the skull) that are broadly triangular with rounded apices (tips), and differences in shape of the baculum (penis bone) and palate. Given these differences, Timm and Genoways (2004, pp. 852, 856) indicated that the correct name for both Pleistocene and Recent Florida bonneted bats isEumops floridanus.Recent studies show that morphologically,E. floridanusis distinct from all other populations in theE. glaucinuscomplex (R. Timm, University of Kansas, pers. comm. 2008a; McDonoughet al.2008, pp. 1306, 1311). Based upon their most recent work, McDonoughet al.(2008, p. 1306) concluded that there are four species in theE. glaucinuscomplex—E. glaucinus(in South America east of the Andes),E. ferox(in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America), an unnamed taxon in western Ecuador (subsequently described asE. wilsoni(Bakeret al.2009, pp. 1-13)), andE. floridanusin south Florida.

E. floridanusis extremely similar in both the mitochondrial and nuclear genes to the populations on Cuba and Jamaica and is clearly derived from those populations (R. Timm, pers. comm. 2008a; McDonoughet al.2008, pp. 1309-1313). Specimens ofE. floridanusare morphologically distinct fromE. glaucinus,but cannot be distinguished by cytochrome-b or amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) DNA data (McDonoughet al.2008, pp. 1312-1313). McDonoughet al.(2008, p. 1313) suggested that morphologicaldistinction inE. floridanushas preceded establishment of either mitochondrial or nuclear distinction through their examination of mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA), nuclear AFLP, karyotypic, and morphological data within theE. glaucinuscomplex. According to McDonough (2008, p. 1313), thefloridanus-glaucinuscomplex presented a unique opportunity to study the process of speciation using new techniques from the emerging field of genomics, and the use of multiple character sets (mtDNA, nuclear, and morphological) will become more prevalent in the future. McDonoughet al.(2008, p. 1313) stated that while adherence to the genetic species concept would relegateE. floridanusto conspecific status (of or belonging to the same species) withE. glaucinus,morphological and ecological concepts clearly call for the recognition ofE. floridanusas a distinct species.

The Florida bonneted bat (E. floridanus) was previously known as Florida mastiff bat, Wagner's mastiff bat, and mastiff bat (E. glaucinus floridanus) (Owre 1978, p. 43; Belwood 1992, p. 216; Bestet al.1997, p. 1). While earlier literature found the Florida bonneted bat distinct at the subspecies level (see Timm and Genoways 2004, pp. 852, 856; McDonoughet al.2008, p. 1307), the most current scientific information confirms thatE. floridanusis a full species and this taxonomic change has been accepted by the scientific community (Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 861; McDonoughet al.2008, pp. 1306-1315; R. Timm, pers. comm. 2008b, 2009; Bakeret al.2009, pp. 9-10). The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (Timm and Arroyo-Cabrales 2008, p. 1) and the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) (FNAI 2012, p. 24) use the nameE. floridanus.The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) (FWC 2011a, pp. 1-11) also recognizes the species asE. floridanus,but their current threatened and endangered list uses both names, Florida bonneted (mastiff) bat,Eumops (=glaucinus) floridanus(see alsoFactor Dbelow).

Life History

Relatively little is known about the Florida bonneted bat's life history. Lifespan is not known. Based upon the work of Wilkinson and South (2002, pp. 124-131), Goreet al.(2010, p. 1) inferred a lifespan of 10 to 20 years for the Florida bonneted bat, with an average generation time of 5 to 10 years.

The Florida bonneted bat has a fairly extensive breeding season during summer months (Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 859). The maternity season for most bat species in Florida occurs from mid-April through mid-August (Marks and Marks 2008a, p. 8). During the early portion of this period, females give birth and leave young in the roost while they make multiple foraging excursions to support lactation (Marks and Marks 2008a, pp. 8-9). During the latter portion of the season, young and females forage together until the young become sufficiently skilled to forage and survive on their own (Marks and Marks 2008a, p. 9). The Florida bonneted bat is a subtropical species, and pregnant females have been found in June through September (FBC 2005, p. 1; Marks and Marks 2008a, p. 9). Examination of limited data suggests that this species may be polyestrous (having more than one period of estrous in a year), with a second birthing season possibly in January-February (Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 859; FBC 2005, p. 1).

Information on reproduction and demography is sparse. The Florida bonneted bat has low fecundity; litter size is one (FBC 2005, p. 1; Timm and Arroyo-Cabrales 2008, p. 1). The colony studied by Belwood (1981, p. 412) consisted of eight adults and included five post-lactating females, one pregnant female with a single fetus, and one male with enlarged testicles; the other female escaped before examination. The pregnant female captured was the first record of a gestating Florida bonneted bat in September (Belwood 1981, p. 412). However, Belwood (1981, p. 412) noted that this finding is consistent with the reproductive chronology of bonneted bats in Cuba, which are polyestrous. Robsonet al.(1989, p. 81) found an injured pregnant female in Coral Gables in late August 1988, which aborted its fetus in early September 1988. A landowner with an active colony in North Fort Myers reported that she has seen young bats appear in spring and summer, generally with only one or two births within the colony per year (S. Trokey, pers. comm. 2006a). However, four young were noted in 2004 (S. Trokey, pers. comm. 2006a). A juvenile male caught in a mist net at Picayune Strand State Forest (PSSF) on December 17, 2009, suggested breeding in the area (Smith 2010, p. 1). Age was determined by viewing the epiphyseal-diaphyseal fusion (level of bone growth and formation in the wings) under a magnifying glass and taking a photograph of the fusion, which was independently confirmed by two Florida bat experts (Smith 2010, pp. 1-2). The juvenile weighed 35 g (1.2 oz) and had a left forearm length of 64.5 mm (2.5 in) (Smith 2010, p. 1).

Based upon limited information, the species roosts singly or in colonies consisting of a male and several females (Belwood 1992, p. 221). G.T. Hubbell believed that individuals in Miami roosted singly (Belwood 1992, p. 221). However, Belwood (1981, p. 412) suggested that a colony, consisting of seven females and one male using a longleaf pine cavity as a roost site in Punta Gorda, was a harem group, based on its sex ratio. Belwood (1981, p. 412; 1992, p. 221) suggested that this behavior has been recorded in a few bat species and such social groupings may be facilitated by roosting in tree cavities, which can be defended from other males (Morrison 1979, pp. 11-15).

Information on roosting habits from artificial structures is also limited. The Florida bonneted bat colony using bat houses on private property in Lee County consisted of 8 to 25 individuals, including one albino (S. Trokey, pers. comm. 2006a, 2006b; 2008a, 2008b, 2012). After the prolonged cold temperatures killed and displaced several bats in early 2010, a total of 10 individuals remained by April 2010, with seven occupying one house and three occupying another (S. Trokey, pers. comm. 2010a, 2010b, 2010c). As of February 2012, there are 18 bats using two houses at this location (S. Trokey, pers. comm. 2012). Sex ratio is not known. Some movement between the houses has been observed; the albino individual has been observed to be in one house one day and the other house the next (S. Trokey, pers. comm. 2006a).

At the Fred C. Babcock/Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Area (Babcock-Webb WMA), 42 individuals are using 4 separate roosts, consisting of 7 bat houses among 4 sites (J. Myers, pers. comm. 2012a, 2012b; Marks and Marks 2012, pp. 8, 12, A61). These sites each consist of two bat houses on a single pole, with the exception of one site, which has a pole containing only one house. The most recent counts from simultaneous observations at these sites, taken at emergence on April 19, 2012, documented the following: 35 Florida bonneted bats at 2 houses, 5 at 2 houses, 1 at 2 houses, and 1 at 1 house (J. Myers, pers. comm. 2012a; Marks and Marks 2012, pp. 12, 19, A61). It is not known if there is movement between houses or among roost locations or between artificial and unknown natural roosts within Babcock-Webb WMA.

The Florida bonneted bat is active year-round and does not have periods of hibernation or torpor. The species is not migratory, but there might have been seasonal shifts in roosting sites (Timmand Genoways 2004, p. 860). Belwood (1992, pp. 216-217) reported that, prior to 1967, G.T. Hubbell routinely obtained several individuals per year collected during the winter from people's houses.

Precise foraging and roosting habits and long-term requirements are unknown (Belwood 1992, p. 219). Active year-round, the species is likely dependent upon a constant and sufficient food supply, consisting of insects, to maintain its generally high metabolism. Based upon limited information, Florida bonneted bats feed on flying insects of the following orders: Coleoptera (beetles), Diptera (true flies), and Hemiptera (true bugs) (Belwood 1981, p. 412; Belwood 1992, p. 220; FBC 2005, p. 1). An analysis of bat guano (droppings) from the colony using the pine flatwoods in Punta Gorda indicated that the sample (by volume) contained coleopterans (55 percent), dipterans (15 percent), and hemipterans (10 percent) (Belwood 1981, p. 412; Belwood 1992, p. 220). No other similar analyses have been performed, but researchers are planning to conduct analyses of guano to determine dietary preferences and seasonal changes (Ridgley 2012, pp. 1-4; C. Marks, FBC, pers. comm. 2012; S. Snow, Everglades National Park (ENP), pers. comm. 2012). This species may prey upon larger insects, which may be less abundant than smaller prey items (S. Snow, pers. comm. 2012). Since the species can take flight from the ground like otherEumopsspp., it may also prey upon ground insect species (Ridgley 2012, pp. 1-2).

Molossids, in general, seem adapted to fast flight in open areas (Vaughan 1966, p. 249). Various morphological characteristics (e.g., narrow wings, high wing-aspect ratios (ratio of wing length to its breadth) makeEumopswell-adapted for efficient, rapid, and prolonged flight in open areas (Findleyet al.1972, pp. 429-444; Freeman 1981, pp. 96-97; Norberg and Rayner 1987, pp. 399-400; Vaughan, 1959 as cited in Bestet al.1997, p. 3). Barbour and Davis (1969, p. 234) noted that the species flies faster than smaller bats, but cannot maneuver as well in small spaces. Belwood (1992, p. 221) stated thatE. glaucinusis “capable of long, straight, and sustained flight,” which should allow individuals to travel large distances. Norberg and Rayner (1987, p. 399) attributed long distance flights of Brazilian free-tailed bats to their high wing-aspect ratios, with that species capable of traveling 65 km (40 miles) from its roosting site to its foraging areas (Barbour and Davis 1969, p. 203). Nonetheless, average foraging distances for the Florida bonneted bat are not known (G. Marks, pers. comm. 2012). Although the species can fly long distances, it likely does not travel farther than necessary to acquire food needed for survival (G. Marks, pers. comm. 2012).

Bonneted bats are “fast hawking” bats that rely on speed and agility to catch target insects in the absence of background clutter, such as dense vegetation (Simmonset al.1979, pp. 16-21; Belwood 1992, p. 221; Bestet al.1997, p. 5). Foraging in open spaces, these bats use echolocation to detect prey at relatively long range, roughly 3 to 5 meters (10 to 16 feet) (Belwood 1992, p. 221). Based upon information from G.T. Hubbell, Belwood (1992, p. 221) indicated that individuals leave roosts to forage after dark, seldom occur below 10 meters (33 feet) in the air, and produce loud, audible calls when flying; calls are easily recognized by some humans (Belwood 1992, p. 221; Bestet al.1997, p. 5; Marks and Marks 2008a, p. 5). On the evening of April 19, 2012, Florida bonneted bats using bat houses at Babcock-Webb WMA emerged to forage at dusk; emergence occurred from approximately 8:20 to 8:40 p.m. (J. Myers, pers. comm. 2012; P. Halupa, pers. obs. 2012).

Habitat

Relatively little is known of the ecology of the Florida bonneted bat, and long-term habitat requirements are poorly understood (Robson 1989, p. 2; Robsonet al.1989, p. 81; Belwood 1992, p. 219; Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 859). Habitat for the Florida bonneted bat mainly consists of foraging areas and roosting sites, including artificial structures. At present, no active, natural roost sites are known, and only limited information on historical sites is available.

Recent information on foraging habitat has been obtained largely through acoustical surveys, designed to detect and record bat echolocation calls (Marks and Marks 2008a, p. 5). Acoustical methods have generally been selected over mist netting as the primary survey methodology because this species flies and primarily forages at heights of 9 meters (30 feet) or more (Marks and Marks 2008a, p. 3). The Florida bonneted bat has a unique and easily identifiable call. While most North American bats vocalize echolocation calls in the ultrasonic range that are inaudible to humans, the Florida bonneted bat echolocates at the higher end of the audible range, which can be heard by some humans as high-pitched calls (Marks and Marks 2008a, p. 5). Most surveys conducted using acoustical equipment can detect echolocation calls within a range of 30 meters (100 feet); call sequences are analyzed using software that compares calls to a library of signature calls (Marks and Marks 2008a, p. 5). Florida bonneted bat calls are relatively easy to identify because calls are issued at frequencies well below that of other Florida bat species (Marks and Marks 2008a, p. 5).

In general, open, fresh water and wetlands provide prime foraging areas for bats (Marks and Marks 2008c, p. 4). Bats will forage over ponds, streams, and wetlands and drink when flying over open water (Marks and Marks 2008c, p. 4). During dry seasons, bats become more dependent on remaining ponds, streams, and wetland areas for foraging purposes (Marks and Marks 2008c, p. 4). The presence of roosting habitat is critical for day roosts, protection from predators, and the rearing of young (Marks and Marks 2008c, p. 4). For most bats, the availability of suitable roosts is an important, limiting factor (Humphrey 1975, pp. 341-343). Bats in south Florida roost primarily in trees and manmade structures (Marks and Marks 2008a, p. 8).

Available information on roosting sites for the Florida bonneted bat is extremely limited. Roosting and foraging areas appear varied, with the species occurring in forested, suburban, and urban areas (Timm and Arroyo-Cabrales 2008, p. 1). Data from acoustical surveys and other methods suggests that the species uses a wide variety of habitats (see Table 1) (Marks and Marks 2008a, pp. 13-14; 2008b, pp. 2-5; 2008c, pp. 1-28; 2012, pp. 1-22; R. Arwood, Inside-Out Photography, Inc., pers. comm. 2008a, 2008b, 2012; Smith 2010, pp. 1-4; S. Snow, pers. comm. 2011, 2012).

Use of Forests and Other Natural Areas

Bonneted bats are closely associated with forested areas because of their tree-roosting habits (Robson 1989, p. 2; Belwood 1992, p. 220; Eger 1999, p. 132), but specific information is limited. Belwood (1981, p. 412) found a small colony of Florida bonneted bats (seven females and one male, all adults) roosting in a longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) in a pine flatwoods community near Punta Gorda in 1979. The bats were roosting in a cavity 4.6 meters (15.1 feet) high, which had been excavated by a red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) and later enlarged by a pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) (Belwood 1981, p. 412). Belwood (1981, p. 412) suggested that the bats were permanent residents of the tree due to the considerable accumulation of fecal material,approximately 1 meter (3.3 feet) in depth. Eger (1999, p. 132) noted that in forested areas, old, mature trees are essential roosting sites for this species. The species also uses foliage of palm trees. Based upon information from G.T. Hubbell, specimens have been found in shafts of royal palms (Roystonea regia) (Belwood 1992, p. 219).

Similar roosting habitats have been reported forE. g. glaucinusin Cuba. Nine of 19 known roost sites were located in tree cavities, including woodpecker holes and cavities in royal palms, “dagame” trees (Callycophyllum candidissimum), and mastic trees (Bursera simaruba) (Silva-Taboada 1979 as cited in Robson 1989, p. 2 and Belwood 1992, p. 219). Another individual was found roosting in the foliage of the palmCopernicia vespertilionum(Silva-Taboada 1979 as cited in Belwood 1992, p. 219). Belwood (1992, pp. 219-220) noted that the majority of the approximately 80 specimens ofE. glaucinusfrom Venezuela housed in the U.S. National Museum were collected from tree cavities in heavily forested areas.

More recent acoustical data and other information indicate that the Florida bonneted bat uses forests and a variety of other natural areas. Echolocation calls have been recorded in a wide array of habitat types: pine flatwoods, pine rocklands, cypress, hardwood hammocks, mangroves, wetlands, rivers, lakes, canals, etc. (see Table 1). Table 1 lists locations and habitat types where Florida bonneted bats were recorded or observed (2003 to present) (Marks and Marks 2008a, pp. 13-14; 2008b, pp. 2-5; 2008c, pp. 1-28; 2012, pp. 1-22; R. Arwood, pers. comm. 2008a, 2008b, 2012; Smith 2010, pp. 1-4; S. Snow, pers. comm. 2011, 2012; FNAI 2012, pp. 1-28). Additional details on key sites are provided below Table 1.

Table 1—Locations and Habitat Types Recorded or Observed for Florida Bonneted Bats (2003-2012) Site Ownership Counties Management Habitat type Everglades National Park (ENP) (2 backcountry sites along Wilderness Waterway [Darwin's Place, Watson Place]) public Monroe National Park Service (NPS) earth midden hammocks, mangroves. ENP (junction of Main Park Road and Long Pine Key) public Miami-Dade NPS pine rocklands, wetlands. L-31N Florida Power and Light (FPL) corridor, eastern boundary ENP private Miami-Dade NPS and FPL canal, mixed. Homestead, FL private Miami-Dade None residential, urban. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (FTBG) private Miami-Dade FTBG pine rockland, hardwood hammock, water, tropical garden, residential. Zoo Miami private and public Miami-Dade Miami-Dade urban, landscaped; pine rocklands. Coral Gables (2 sites, including Granada Golf Course) private Miami-Dade None residential, urban. Snapper Creek Park public Miami-Dade Miami-Dade County residential, urban. Everglades City private Collier None residential, urban. Naples private Collier None residential, urban. Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park (FSPSP) (2 sites, including Ballard Pond, Prairie Canal Bridge) public Collier Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) lake and canal near hardwood hammock, and pine flatwoods. Picayune Strand State Forest (PSSF) public Collier FFS canal (juvenile male caught above Faka-Union Canal). Big Cypress National Preserve (multiple sites) public Collier NPS pine flatwoods, palmetto, cypress, mixed and hardwood hammocks, mangroves, mixed shrubs, wet prairies, river. North Fort Myers (2 sites, including bat houses) private Lee None; private landowner residential, urban; bat houses. Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area (WMA) (3 sites, Tucker Grade east end, B/W west area, and bat houses and near red-cockaded woodpecker clusters) public Charlotte Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) pinelands (and near red-cockaded woodpecker clusters); bat houses. Babcock Ranch (Telegraph Swamp) public, private Charlotte Private entities, FWC, FFS, and Lee County swamp. Kicco public Polk FWC and SFWMD oxbow along Kissimmee River. Kissimmee River Public Use Area (Platt's Bluff) public Okeechobee FWC and SFWMD boat ramp along Kissimmee River.

In 2006, the species was found at Babcock-Webb WMA in the general vicinity of the colony found by Belwood (1981, p. 412); this was the first documentation of the Florida bonneted bat at this location since 1979 (Marks and Marks 2008a, pp. 6, 11, 13). Major habitat types at Babcock-Webb WMA include dry prairie, freshwater marsh, wet prairie, and pine flatwoods; all calls were recorded in pinelands (Marks and Marks 2008a, pp. A7, B38-B39; 2012,pp. 8, A61, B43). The species was also recorded at an adjacent property, Babcock Ranch in 2007; calls were recorded at Telegraph Swamp, but not in the pinelands surveyed (Marks and Marks 2008a, pp. A9, B55-B57).

The species has been found within the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park (FSPSP), using this area throughout the year (D. Giardina, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), pers. comm. 2006; C. Marks, pers. comm. 2006a, 2006b, M. Owen, FSPSP, pers. comm. 2012a, 2012b). In 2006, this species was found at a small lake and at a canal adjacent to tropical hardwood hammocks (Ballard Pond and Prairie Canal Bridge) in the FSPSP (Marks and Marks 2008a, pp. 11, A7-A9, B50-B51). Available data and observations indicate that the species was regularly heard at FSPSP from 2000 through 2012 at various locations, primarily in the main strand swamp and near royal palms (M. Owen, pers. comm. 2012a, 2012b; R. Rau, pers. comm. 2012). In November 2007, the species was observed along U.S. 41 at Collier-Seminole State Park in Collier County (S. Braem, FDEP, pers. comm. 2012). The FDEP also suggests that the species may occur at Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park in Charlotte County and Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park in Collier County (P. Small, FDEP, pers. comm. 2012).

The Florida bonneted bat has been found in various habitats within Big Cypress National Preserve (BCNP). During surveys conducted in a variety of habitats in 2006-2007, the majority consisting of cypress swamps and wetlands, only one call was recorded in 16 survey nights in 2007 (Marks and Marks 2008a, pp. 11, A12-A14). The call was recorded at Deep Lake along the western edge of BCNP and the eastern side of the FSPSP; the lake was surrounded by cypress and hardwood hammocks similar to the habitat around Ballard Pond in the FSPSP (see above) (R. Arwood, pers. comm. 2008b). The species was recorded again in February 2012 at another location (Cal Stone's camp) in an area of pine and palmetto with cypress domes in the surrounding area (R. Arwood, pers. comm. 2012; Marks and Marks 2012, p. 13). Data derived from recordings taken in 2003 and 2007 by a contractor and provided to the Service (S. Snow, pers. comm. 2012) and available land use covers derived from a geographic information system also suggest that the species uses a wide array of habitats within BCNP.

As noted earlier, FWC biologists and volunteers caught a free-flying juvenile male Florida bonneted bat in 2009 using a mist net in the PSSF in Collier County (Smith 2010, p. 1). Habitat composition of PSSF includes wet prairie, cypress stands, and pine flatwoods in the lowlands and subtropical hardwood hammocks in the uplands, and the individual was captured in the net above the Faka-Union Canal (Smith 2010, p. 1). This was particularly notable because it may have been the first capture of a Florida bonneted bat without a roost site being known (Smith 2010, p. 1).

In 2000, the species was found within mangroves at Dismal Key within the Ten Thousand Islands (Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 861; Marks and Marks 2008a, pp. 6, A9, B53; 2012, p. 14). Subsequent surveys in 2000, 2006, and 2007 did not document any calls at this location (Marks and Marks 2008a, pp. 6, 11, 14). In 2007, the species had been recorded at a backcountry campsite (Watson's Place) within ENP, comprised of mixed hardwoods (S. Snow, pers. comm. 2012). In 2012, the species was found within mangroves and mixed hardwoods at another backcountry campsite (Darwin's Place) along the Wilderness Waterway (Ten Thousand Island area), approximately 4.8 kilometers (km) (3 miles) east-southeast of Watson's Place within ENP (Marks and Marks 2012, pp. 8, 17, A53, B35, B38; C. Marks, pers. comm. 2012; S. Snow, pers. comm. 2012). However, the species was not located in similar habitats during 18 survey nights in 2012 (Marks and Marks 2012, p. 14).

In 2011-2012, the species was found in various natural habitats elsewhere in ENP and vicinity (S. Snow, pers. comm. 2011, 2012; Marks and Marks 2012, pp. 8, 14). It was found in wetlands and pinelands at the junction of the main park road and road to Long Pine Key (S. Snow, pers. comm. 2011, 2012; Marks and Marks 2012, p. 8, 14, 17), and also along the L-31N canal in a rural area, at the eastern boundary of ENP (S. Snow, pers. comm. 2012; Marks and Marks 2012, pp. 8, 14, 17, A59). In March 2012, one suspect (presumed, but not confirmed) call sequence was also recorded on SR 9336 in an area of rural residential and agricultural habitat in Miami-Dade County (S. Snow, pers. comm. 2012). In January 2012, another suspect call was recorded from the suburban streets of the village of Palmetto Bay in Miami-Dade (S. Snow, pers. comm. 2012).

In 2008, the Florida bonneted bat was found at two locations along the Kissimmee River during a survey of public areas contracted by FWC (J. Morse, pers. comm. 2008, 2010; Marks and Marks 2008b, pp. 2-5; 2008c, pp. 1-28). One location was at an oxbow along the Kissimmee River in a pasture in Kicco; the other was at Platt's Bluff boat ramp at a public park on the Kissimmee River (Marks and Marks 2008c, pp. 11, 17). However, despite numerous attempts, no additional calls were detected in the Lake Kissimmee areas or along the Kissimmee River during subsequent surveys designed to more completely define the northern part of its range (C. Marks, pers. comm. 2012a; Marks and Marks 2012, pp. 3, 5, 8, 10) (seeCurrent Distribution).

Use of Parks, Residential, and Other Urban Areas

The Florida bonneted bat uses human structures and other nonnatural environments. In Coral Gables (Miami area), specimens have been found in the shafts of royal palm leaves (Belwood 1992, p. 219). Based upon observations from G.T Hubbell, past sightings in Miami suggest that preferred diurnal roosts may be the shingles under Spanish tile roofs (Belwood 1992, p. 219). The species also roosts in buildings (e.g., in attics, rock or brick chimneys of fireplaces, and especially buildings dating from about 1920-1930) (Timm and Arroyo-Cabrales 2008, p. 1). One individual recently reported that a single Florida bonneted bat had come down the chimney and into his residence in Coral Gables in the fall about 5 years ago (D. Pearson, pers. comm. 2012). Belwood (1992, p. 220) suggested that urban bats would appear to benefit from using Spanish tile roofs on dwellings, since the human population in south Florida is growing, and such structures are more common now than in the past. However, it is important to recognize that bats using old or abandoned and new dwellings are at significant risk; bats are removed when structures are demolished or when they are no longer tolerated by humans and eradicated or excluded from dwellings (seeSummary of Factors Affecting the Species, Factor E).

This species may also roost in rocky crevices and outcrops on the ground, based on the discovery of an adult for which the specimen tag says “found under rocks when bull-dozing ground” (Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 860). A colony was found in a limestone outcropping on the north edge of the University of Miami campus in Coral Gables; the limestone contained a large number of flat, horizontal, eroded fissures in which the bats roosted (Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 860). It is not known to what extent such roost sites are suitable.

Recent acoustical surveys (2006, 2008, 2012) confirmed that the species continues to use a golf course in urban Coral Gables (Marks and Marks 2008a,pp. 6, 11, A4; 2008b, pp. 1-6; 2012, pp. 8, 14, 16, 19, A24, B16). Despite numerous efforts, attempts to locate the roost site have been unsuccessful.

Recordings taken continuously from a balcony from a fifth floor condominium also detected presence in Naples (R. Arwood, pers comm. 2008a). Recordings taken from a house and at a boat dock along the Barron River in Everglades City also detected presence in this area (R. Arwood, pers comm. 2008a).

The species has been documented at Zoo Miami within an urban public park in Miami-Dade County (C. Marks, pers. comm. 2011; Ridgley 2012, p. 1; Marks and Marks 2012, pp. 8, 14, 16, A26). A dead specimen was found on Zoo Miami (then known as Miami Metrozoo) grounds at the Asian Elephant barn in 2004 (Marks and Marks 2008a, p. 6). Miami-Dade County biologists observed seven bats similar in size to Florida bonneted bats and heard chatter at the correct frequency a few years ago, but were unable to obtain definitive recordings (S. Thompson, Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department, pers. comm. 2010) until a single call was recorded by FBC outside the same enclosure in September 2011 (Ridgley 2012, p. 1; Marks and Marks 2012, pp. 8, 14, 16, A26). Surrounding habitats include natural areas and horticulturally altered landscape, with a variety of manmade structures (Ridgley 2012, p. 1).

In 2011 and 2012, the species was recorded within tropical gardens at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (FTBG) in Miami-Dade County (S. Snow, pers. comm. 2011, 2012; Marks and Marks 2012, pp. 8, 13-14, 17, A35, A37).

Use of Artificial Structures

The Florida bonneted bat can use artificial structures (Marks and Marks 2008a, p. 8; Morse 2008, pp. 1-14; S. Trokey, pers. comm. 2012). In fact, all of the active known roosting sites for the species are bat houses (two at a private landowner's house; four at Babcock-Webb WMA).

The species occupies bat houses on private land in North Fort Myers, Lee County; until recently, this was the only known location of an active colony roost anywhere (S. Trokey, pers. comm. 2006a, 2008b; Marks and Marks 2008a, pp. 7, 15). The Florida bonneted bat has used this property for over 9 years (S. Trokey, pers. comm. 2012). The bat houses are located near a small pond, situated approximately 5 meters (17 feet) above the ground with a south by southwest orientation (S. Trokey, pers. comm. 2012). The relatively high height of the houses may allow the large bats to fall from the roosts before flying (S. Trokey, pers. comm. 2012).

The species also occupies bat houses within pinelands at Babcock-Webb WMA in Punta Gorda, Charlotte County (Marks and Marks 2012, pp. 8, A61). In winter 2008, two colonies were found using bat houses (Morse 2008, p. 8; N. Douglass, FWC, pers. comm. 2009). In 2010, approximately 25 individuals were found at two additional bat houses, bringing the potential total at Babcock-Webb WMA to 58 individuals, occupying four houses (J. Birchfield, FWC, pers. comm. 2010; Marks and Marks 2012, pp. 12, A61). In 2012, 42 individuals were found to use four roost sites, consisting of a total of seven bat houses, situated approximately 5 meters (17 feet) above the ground with north and south orientations (J. Myers, pers. comm. 2012a; Marks and Marks 2012, pp. 12, 19, A61). Roosts at Babcock-Webb WMA are mainly in hydric and mesic pine flatwoods with depression and basin marshes and other mixed habitat in the vicinity (J. Myers, pers. comm. 2012b).

In summary, relatively little is known of the species' habitat requirements. Based upon available data above, it appears that the species can use a wide array of habitat types (see Table 1 above). Available information on roosting sites is extremely limited and particularly problematic, since the availability of suitable roosts is an important, limiting factor for most bat species. Existing roost sites need to be identified so they can be preserved and protected (Marks and Marks 2008a, p. 15). Uncertainty regarding the location of natural and artificial roost sites may contribute to the species' vulnerability (seeSummary of Factors Affecting the Species, Factors AandEbelow). Since the location of key roost sites is not known, inadvertent impacts to and losses of roosts may be more likely to occur, placing the species at greater risk. If key roost sites are located, actions could be taken to avoid or minimize losses.

Historical Distribution

Records indicating historical range are limited. Morgan (1991, p. 200) indicated thatE. glaucinushad been identified from four late Pleistocene (approximately 11,700 years ago) and Holocene (time period beginning 10,000 years ago) fossil sites in the southern half of the Florida peninsula. Late Pleistocene remains are known from Melbourne, Brevard County, and Monkey Jungle Hammock in Miami-Dade County (Allen 1932, pp. 256-259; Martin 1977, as cited in Belwood 1981, p. 412 and Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 857; Morgan 1991, p. 188). Holocene remains are known from Vero Beach, Indian River County (Ray 1958, Martin 1977, and Morgan 1985, 2002 as cited in Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 857; Morgan 1991, pp. 187-188, 200), and also Monkey Jungle Hammock (Morgan 1991, p. 188). The largest fossil sample (9 specimens) was reported from the Holocene stratum at Vero Beach (Morgan 1985 as cited in Morgan 1991, p. 200). The fossil records from Brevard County and Indian River County are considerably farther north than where living individuals have typically been recorded (Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 857; Marks and Marks 2008b, p.5).

Timm and Genoways (2004, p. 856) noted thatE. floridanusis one of the few species of Recent mammals that was described from the Pleistocene fossil record before the discovery of living individuals. The type specimen (first specimen used to describe the species), described by Allen (1932, pp. 256-259) is from Melbourne in Brevard County, Florida (Morgan 1991, pp. 187, 200). The type specimen is dated from the late Rancholabrean Melbourne Bed, in Brevard County (Morgan 1991, pp. 187, 200; Timm and Genoways 2004, pp. 858, 860).

Most of the historical records and sightings for this species are several decades old from the cities of Coral Gables and Miami in extreme southeastern Florida, where the species was once believed to be common (Belwood 1992, pp. 216, 219; Timm and Genoways 2004, p. 857; Timm and Arroyo-Cabrales 2008, p. 1). G.T. Hubbell also reported a female with young from Fort Lauderdale in Broward County; all of his sightings of Florida bonneted bats were near human dwellings (Belwood 1992, p. 219). Prior to 1967, G.T. Hubbell regularly heard loud, distinctive calls at night as the bats foraged above buildings and he routinely obtained several individuals per year that were collected during the winter months from people's houses (Belwood 1992, pp. 216-217). Layne (1974, p. 389) stated, “This bat has the most restricted range of any Florida mammal, being only known from Miami, Coral Gables, and Coconut Grove, where it inhabits buildings in residential areas with lush vegetative growth” (Barbour, 1936; Schwartz 1952a; Jennings, 1958).

Other early literature also mentioned Fort Lauderdale as an area where the species occurred (Barbour and Davis 1969, p. 231; Belwood 1992, pp. 218-219). However, in their comprehensive review, none of the specimens examined by Timm and Genoways (2004, pp. 856-857, 864) were fromBroward County. Belwood (1981, p. 412) found a colony in Punta Gorda; however, the longleaf pine in which the bats roosted was felled during highway construction. Recent specimens are only known from extreme southern and southwestern Florida, including Miami-Dade County on the east coast and Charlotte, Collier, and Lee Counties on the Gulf coast (Timm and Genoways 2004, pp. 856-857).

As part of a status survey, Robson (1989, pp. 8-9) examined available specimens from museum collections (University of Miami, Miami-Dade Community College, and Florida Museum of Natural History) dating from 1951-1989. Of the 21 specimens examined, 11 were from Coral Gables, 4 were from Miami, 3 were from North Miami, and 3 were from Punta Gorda (Robson 1989, p. 8). As part of the same study, Robson (1989, p. 9) investigated 44 reports of bats throughout southern Florida in 1989, but did not collect or observe the Florida bonneted bat. Another 25 sites were selected for acoustical sampling as part of this study. Records of bats from the selected sites were generally scant or nonexistent; only one record from Coral Gables was found (Robson 1989, p. 9). Despite considerable effort (1,724 stops during 86.2 hours), no additional evidence of the species was found in this study (Robson 1989, pp. 9, 15).

Current Distribution

Endemic to Florida, the Florida bonneted bat has one of the most restricted distributions of any species of bat in the New World (Belwood 1992, pp. 218-219; Timm and Genoways 2004, pp. 852, 856-858, 861-862). Although numerous acoustical surveys for the Florida bonneted bat have been conducted in the past decade by various parties, the best scientific information indicates that the species exists only within a very restricted range, confined to south Florida (Timm and Genoways 2004, pp. 852, 856-858, 861-862; Marks and Marks 2008a, p. 15; 2012, pp. 10-11).

The majority of information relating to current distribution comes from the following recent studies: (1) Range-wide surveys conducted in 2006-2007, funded by the Service, to determine the status of the Florida bonneted bat following the 2004 hurricane season, and followup surveys in 2008 (Marks and Marks 2008a, pp. 1-16 and appendices; 2008b, pp. 1-6); (2) surveys conducted in 2008 along the Kissimmee River and Lake Wales Ridge, funded by the FWC, as part of bat conservation and land management efforts (Marks and Marks 2008c, pp. 1-28; 2008d, pp. 1-21; Morse 2008, p. 2); (3) surveys conducted within BCNP in 2003 and 2007, funded by the NPS (S. Snow, pers. comm. 2012); (4) surveys conducted in 2011-2012 in ENP by NPS staff (S. Snow, pers. comm. 2012); (5) surveys conducted in 2010-2012, funded by the Service, to fill past gaps and better define the northern and southern extent of the species' range (Marks and Marks 2012, pp. 1-22 and appendices); and (6) recordings taken from proposed wind energy facilities in Glades and Palm Beach Counties (C. Coberly, Merlin Environmental, pers. comm. 2012; C. Newman, Normaneau Associates, Inc, pers. comm. 2012). These survey efforts and results are described in more detail below.

(1) Range-Wide Survey

Results of range-wide acoustical surveys in 2006-2007 documented presence in Charlotte, Lee, Collier, and Miami-Dade Counties (see Table 1; Marks and Marks 2008a, p. 11). As part of this study, all previous known locations for the Florida bonneted bat and other previously unsurveyed areas were surveyed to determine presence (Marks and Marks 2008a, p. 3). In total, 50 survey nights were conducted at select locations in south Florida with 48 areas surveyed (Marks and Marks 2008a, pp. 9-10; 2012, p. 5). Echolocation calls were recorded by researchers at six of the areas surveyed (Marks and Marks 2008a, p. 10). Although Broward County was previously considered part of the species' range (Barbour and Davis 1969, p. 231; Belwood 1992, pp. 218-219; Hipeset al.2001, page not numbered), Marks and Marks (2008a, p. 13) did not record any Florida bonneted bat calls in the Fort Lauderdale or surrounding areas. The species was not recorded on the east coast of Florida north of Coral Gables as part of the 2006-2007 survey (Marks and Marks 2008a, p. 10).

Following this study, Marks and Marks (2008a, p. 10) concluded that “based on the surveys conducted to date, the full extent of the Florida bonneted bat population exists within a very limited range extending from the Babcock Webb WMA through southwest Florida to south Miami and Homestead.” More detailed information regarding locations is provided above (seeHabitatand Table 1 above and