Nebraska Academy of Sciences


Documentation of the Northern Long-Eared Myotis, Myotis septentrionalis on Standing Rock Indian Reservation

Christopher Shank
Michael Gutzmer
Kurt Tooley
Jeffrey Kelly


Since 2006, the northern long-eared myotis has declined by 98 percent in the U.S. Northeast, where white-nose syndrome first appeared. Because of the species’ strong association with large blocks of older forests, forest fragmentation, logging and forest conversion (such as clearing trees for agriculture and development) are also major threats to the species. In 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the northern long-eared bat meets the Endangered Species Act’s definition of threatened. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, located centrally in South and extending into North Dakota, was awarded a US Fish and Wildlife Tribal Grant to assess all small mammals on the Reservation, including bats. Surveying for bat species on SRST included the use of Pettersson D500x passive terrestrial ultrasonic recorders, one of which was installed at a Moreau Prairie location in Sioux County, North Dakota, known as Unit 41. A site visit was conducted on Unit 41 on September 23rd 2015. The monitor had recorded a total of 37 trap nights. The results revealed 143 total bats recorded, from ten different species. Most significantly, the federally threatened northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) was unequivocally documented. More sampling will be conducted to further investigate the diversity and abundance of bat species on Standing Rock Indian Reservation, and will contribute to the development of crucial conservation management programs on the Reservation.