IMR Press / FBS / Volume 15 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.31083/j.fbs1502008
Open Access Original Research
Individual Variation in Parturition Timing within and among Years for a Bat Maternity Colony
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1 Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
2 Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Corner Brook, NL A2H 7S1, Canada
3 Department of Biology, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, NS B3H 3C3, Canada
*Correspondence: (Hugh Broders)
Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2023, 15(2), 8;
Submitted: 24 January 2023 | Revised: 23 April 2023 | Accepted: 7 June 2023 | Published: 30 June 2023
Copyright: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Background: In monoestrous species, the timing of reproduction can have important impacts on offspring survival. For heterotherms in temperate areas, parturition timing is constrained by cold weather survival strategies, such as hibernation and torpor. Female bats that are year-round residents of temperate regions, such as little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus), invest significantly in parental care resulting in sharp changes in behavior immediately following parturition. These behavior changes may include increases in nighttime roost revisits, which can be used to identify parturition dates for individual bats that have been passive integrated transponder (PIT) tagged and use monitored roosts. Methods: Using a system of tagged bats and monitored roosts in Pynn’s Brook and Salmonier Nature Park Newfoundland, Canada, we estimated parturition dates for 426 female M. lucifugus in at least one year, based on changes in nighttime roost revisit patterns, and quantified the variation in parturition dates within years among individuals, and within individuals among years. Results: Overall, we report on a wide variation in parturition dates within years among individuals as well as year-to-year variations, both across the population and within individuals. Spring weather conditions appeared to be important influences on parturition timing. Conclusions: Changes in spring and summer temperature and extreme weather events, as expected due to ongoing climate change, may impact parturition timing, and therefore, offspring survival of temperate bats.

behavioral ecology
Myotis lucifugus
passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags
reproductive timing
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; Postgraduate Scholarship - Doctoral
2020-04743/Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; Discovery Grant
former Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Environment and Conservation, Saint Mary’s University
University of Waterloo
Fig. 1.
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