Researchers Find First Direct Evidence Of Migratory Hoary Bats Hibernating

Posted: Oct 31 2016, 10:28am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

Researchers Find First Direct Evidence of Migratory Hoary Bats Hibernating
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  • Novel Proof of Hibernation in a Certain Species of Bats
 

Novel proof has emerged of hibernation occurring in a certain species of bats.

California’s redwood forests have bats that are perched on the tree branches. These are called wayfaring hoary bats. It is a migratory bat species that travels hundreds of miles through the western region of the US till it reaches California.

Once these hordes of bats have arrived in California, they began their long sleep. While many bat species migrate and many hibernate too, a bat that does both is very rare indeed. Hoary bats are the largest species of bats in North America.  

These bats are 5 inches in length and have a frosted fur design. It is due to this feature that these bats are called wayfaring hoary bats. Researchers have noted down the napping sequences of these bats.

They have a tendency to hibernate for extended periods of time. The evidence of their migratory and hibernation habits was noted down in the journal Scientific Reports.

Most migratory species find stuff to eat in winter and also remain in motion throughout the frigid weather conditions. Yet these bats spend their time sleeping during the winter season.  

Two years ago, researchers fitted some of these bats with GPS devices. Another group of bats were equiped with a monitor that noted down the levels of light, their body temperature and their activity levels.

The response of the bats to the weather was noted down. Although such GPS and monitoring contraptions have been here for awhile, this is the first time they have been miniaturized to the point where they can fit easily on the bodies of bats.

About 30 days afterwards, two of the bats with GPS on their bodies were captured and the data downloaded in the GPS devices was analyzed.  

One bat showed itself to remain true to its roots. The other one had a wide area it encountered in its peregrinations. This locus was several miles in its range.

A third bat was caught too and what its data revealed was really weird. It flew some 600 miles. What was the reason behind its circuit-like path around the area.

The roosting habitat is probably the major reason behind the hibernation patterns of this bat. These bats roost in trees instead of in caves.

The bats tend to hibernate but they would freeze to death in the extreme northern area where they originally come from. The Redwood forest is therefore the perfect habitat for the bats during the winter months. 

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