We examined the emergence patterns of Myotis velifer
in central Texas in 2000 and assessed exposure to pesticide residues. We collected and analyzed guano from three caves for pesticide residues. In addition, bat carcasses were sampled from an active colony of cave myotis (Myotis velifer
) in Shell Mountain. Organochlorine residue concentrations were highest in guano from the Egypt and Tippit Caves, whereas organophosphate concentrations were highest in Shell Mountain guano. Residue concentrations of organochlorines and metals in guano and carcasses collected from the three caves are considered low and probably of no biological concern. The study was one of very few to demonstrate the presence of OPs, including 18 different detectable compounds in the two most recent samples of bat guano. Comparisons between spring and fall guano samples from Shell Mountain suggest that HCB (hexachlorobenzene), total chlordanes, dieldrin, endrin, endosulfan II, p,p’-DDE (Dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl) ethylene), and o,p’-DDT (Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) accumulated while bats were absent from the caves at Fort Hood. Lindane appeared to be the only chemical that increased while the bats were present at the site. Organochlorine concentrations in carcasses were generally lowest in lactating females and higher in nursing juveniles. The pattern of emergence coincides with the peak of agricultural activities, therefore, bats forage at a time when the insect pests are most abundant, but also potential to exposure to agricultural chemicals is highest. The current status of the population, however, remains stable in spite of the history of exposure.
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