Capture survey at Minnetonka Cave, Bear Lake County, Idaho

Publication Type:



Abel, Becky


p.[6] (2014)

Call Number:



Big Brown Bat, Corynorhinus townsendii, Eptesicus fuscus, Little Brown Myotis, Long-eared Myotis, Long-legged Myotis, Minnetonka Cave, Myotis ciliolabrum, Myotis evotis, Myotis lucifugus, Myotis volans, Townsend's Big-Eared Bat, Western Small-footed Myotis


Idaho Department of Fish and Game personnel and US Forest Service biologists conducted a capture survey at the entrance to Minnetonka Cave on 8 October 2014. Objectives of the survey were to capture and identify in hand the species of bats potentially using Minnetonka Cave for the upcoming hibernation season, since many bats observed during hibernacula surveys at this site are difficult to positively identify. Weather at the site was calm and mild. We used a harp trap that we set just inside the cave gate with plastic sheeting hung from either side to encourage bats to attempt to pass through the trap instead of flying around it. Bats were active during the set-up, though at low numbers. Upon completion of the set-up, we immediately began capturing bats in large numbers. We removed bats from the trap and placed each individual in its own paper lunch bag to wait for processing. We checked the trap and removed bats approximately every 10 to 15 minutes. After 2 hours we decided to tear down the trap, as we were capturing the same species, and in some cases the same individuals, time after time. We captured 67 bats, including 1 Townsend’s big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii), 1 big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus), 13 western small-footed myotis (Myotis ciliolabrum), 36 long-eared myotis (M. evotis), 12 little brown myotis (M. lucifugus), and 4 long-legged myotis (M. volans). Included with the one-page summary are 4 pages of bat capture data forms, listing per capture, species name, sex, age, measurements, and reproductive status if determined. The summary data of the last sentence can also be found in a memo (U14ABE03IDUS).