USGS FORT - Ouray National Wildlife Refuge - Bats - 2010

Latest version published by United States Geological Survey on Dec 11, 2019 United States Geological Survey
Publication date:
11 December 2019
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Nine species of bats were captured using mist nets during the summer of 2010. These findings document the occurrence at Ouray National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) of 13 of the 18 species of bats known to occur from Utah. The other 5 of the 18 species of Utah bats not documented during this study are the silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans), the Brazilian free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis), the western red bat (Lasiurus blossevilii), the spotted bat (Euderma maculatum), and Allen's big-eared bat (Idionycteris phyllotis). Three of the species documented as occurring at Ouray NWR are identified by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources as Utah Species of Concern in the Utah Sensitive Species List: the fringed myotis, the Townsend's big-eared bat, and the big free-tailed bat. USGS Fort Collins Science Center (FORT).

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How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Ellison, L.E., 2011, Bats of Ouray National Wildlife Refuge: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011–1032, 51 p.


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The publisher and rights holder of this work is United States Geological Survey. To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: e4d07f67-39a9-4dec-8623-038c671c4b88.  United States Geological Survey publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by U.S. Geological Survey.


Metadata; Fish and Wildlife Service; National Park Service; bats; foraging habitat; Green River; inventory; roosting sites; Utah; Colorado Plateau; Ouray National Wildlife Refuge; Observation


Lance (Anthony) Everett
  • Content Provider
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Technology Specialist/Project Coordinator
US Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center
2150 Centre Ave Bldg C
80527 Fort Collins
+1 970-226-9225
Annie Simpson
  • Originator
biologist & information scientist
Core Science Systems
12201 Sunrise Valley Dr
20192 Reston

Geographic Coverage

-109.67102050751 to -109.627075195 longitude; 40.136556199088 to 40.086142549522 latitude

Bounding Coordinates South West [40.086, -109.671], North East [40.137, -109.627]

Taxonomic Coverage


Kingdom Animalia (animals)
Phylum Chordata (chordates)
Class Mammalia (mammals), Chiroptera (bats)
Family Vespertilionidae (vesper bats)
Species Myotis evotis, Antrozous pallidus, Eptesicus fuscus, Myotis volans, Myotis californicus, Myotis yumanensis, Parastrellus hesperus, Corynorhinus townsendii, Myotis lucifugus

Temporal Coverage

Start Date 2010-01-01

Project Data

No Description available

Title Bats of Ouray National Wildlife Refuge, Utah
Funding US Fish and Wildlife Service
Study Area Description Ouray National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is located in the northeastern corner of Utah along the Green River and is part of the Upper Colorado River System and the Colorado Plateau. Ouray NWR is in central Uintah County, 2 miles northeast of Ouray, and 10 miles southeast of Randlett. The Refuge covers 11,987 acres, includes 12 miles of the Green River, and was originally established in 1960 to serve as a refuge for breeding and migrating waterfowl. Management strategies today (2011) focus on managing water to mimic the natural flood plains that existed before dams were erected along the river. Portions of protective levees throughout the Refuge were removed to allow more frequent flooding. There are five bottom lands within the river floodplain: Johnson Bottom, Leota Bottom, Wyasket Lake, Sheppard Bottom, and Wood’s Bottom. These bottom lands are all fed by the river as it winds through an otherwise desert-like landscape. With more than 4,000 acres of wetland and riparian habitat, the Refuge is home to a diverse group of birds, mammals, fish, plants, and amphibians and reptiles. Prior to this study, the assumption was that Ouray NWR would provide excellent habitat for bats, but no previous bat studies had been conducted, and it was unknown what species of bats occurred on the Refuge.
Design Description The investigator chose 3 10-day field trips in June, July, and August 2010 based on lunar phase; the middle of each trip coincided with the new moon because it is suspected that bat capture rates are higher during darker phases of the moon. The investigator used 2 different methods to inventory the bat species at Ouray NWR. The first method was to survey the bat fauna by capturing, identifying, and noting the reproductive condition of individuals, and then releasing them. The second method used to supplement mist netting surveys was acoustic monitoring with ultrasonic bat detectors (Anabat II; Titley Electronics, NSW, Australia).

The personnel involved in the project:

Laura E. Ellison
  • Principal Investigator

Sampling Methods

Mist netting surveys occurred the nights of 8-15 June, 7-13 July, and 3-10 August 2010. 11 sites were surveyed with mist nets (fig. 1). During the June field trip, up to 6 nets per night of 9 m, 12 m, and 18 m in length were used. These nets were set on 3-m-high poles. It was difficult to capture bats with 3 such low nets and so much water surface area available on the refuge. Therefore, in July and August 2010, higher, “stacked” nets were used. These stacked nets were 6-m high and used 2, 12-m-long nets on a pulley system based on the system designed by Gardner and others (1989). Two of these stacked nets were used per night during the July and August 2010 field trips.

Study Extent The overall goal for this project was to conduct a baseline inventory of bat species occurring at Ouray NWR. The 3 specific objectives to accomplish this goal were to: (1) identify water sources occurring at Ouray NWR where bats could be captured using mist nets and assess species occurrence; (2) capture and identify bats at these water sites and release unharmed; and, (3) collect echolocation activity of bats to augment species occurrence information.
Quality Control Complete details of the sampling methods and qa/qc can be found here:

Method step description:

  1. For additional data, acoustic analysis techniques were employed in June - August. The general locations were chosen nonrandomly to maximize the area sampled at the refuge and specific locations were chosen based on proximity to water, habitat edges, and potential flyways. We recorded acoustic activity of bats from sunset to sunrise on six nights at each station in June (Stations 1-4), July (Stations 1-6), and August 2010 (Stations 1-6). We used the Anabat II bat detectors with programmable zero-crossing analysis interface modules (Anabat CF Storage ZCAIM; Titley Electronics, NSW, Australia). Detectors were placed in weatherproof boxes oriented in random directions and angled 45 degrees to a reflective polycarbonateplastic surface. Detectors were precalibrated to minimize variation in zone of reception among units. Echolocation call data was downloaded from detectors every other day and the storage ZCAIMs was cleared for redeployment.

Additional Metadata

altitude of the collection site ranged from 1,421-1,437 meters.

Purpose The overall goal for this project was to conduct a baseline inventory of bat species occurring at Ouray National Wildlife Refuge using established monitoring methodology for vesper bat species.
Alternative Identifiers e4d07f67-39a9-4dec-8623-038c671c4b88