Population structure of the Townsend’s big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii townsendii) in California Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2018 American Society of Mammalogists, www.mammalogy.org. Townsend's big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii townsendii) is a wide-ranging subspecies found throughout the western United States. Of the 5 subspecies currently recognized within C.Townsendii, 2 are federally endangered and 2 others are considered species of concern. In California, C.T.Townsendii is a species of concern given its loss of habitat and presumed limited dispersal capabilities. Here, we investigated the genetic structure and diversity of a group of maternity colonies across the Inyo-White Mountains in west-central California. Analysis of both nuclear (microsatellite loci) and mitochondrial (D-loop fragment) data show a lack of structure across the study region and significant isolation-by-distance, supporting gene flow among maternity colonies in a stepping stone pattern. The maternity colonies in our sampling region are thus part of 1 genetically healthy, panmictic population. Despite the overall genetic viability of C.T.Townsendii in this region, we suggest maintaining the connection between colonies is a crucial step in the management and persistence of the subspecies.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Mammalogy

altmetric score

  • 10.7

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Anderson, Andrew P||Light, Jessica E||Takano, Oona M||Morrison, Michael L

publication date

  • April 2018