A couple of weeks ago, I was in Michigan to do a forest and Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis) habitat assessment. Below are some photos of trees that are potential summer roost trees for this Federally Endangered species.
With a high percentage of exfoliating bark, Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata) is the poster child for Indiana Bat roost trees.
Live or dead/dying trees with peeling bark are considered potential habitat for Indiana Bat. In addition to Shagbark Hickory and other hickories (Carya spp.), oaks (Quercus spp.), maples (Acer spp.), Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides), and ashes (Fraxinus spp.) are the most common Indiana Bat summer roost trees. The White Oak (Quercus alba) shown above was greater than 3 feet in diameter at breast height (DBH), had peeling bark and hollow branches, and was located in a landscape position that would allow for roosting bats to access a clutter-free creek corridor. Aside from the fairly dense subcanopy in the immediate vicinity, this tree would make a good bat roost.
The White Oaks shown above and below are also potential Indiana Bat roost trees. All three of these were enormous, old, open-grown trees.
Overall at this site, we saw more than 40 trees greater than 25 inches DBH that were potential Indiana Bat roost trees. In addition, bat foraging habitat and connectivity were present, so it is likely that the next step will be for our bat biologist to set up mist nets and try to capture bats to see exactly what species are present.