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Interstate 35 Indiana Bat Study

Biological assessment helps avoid habitat disturbance

Warren County, Iowa

Reconstruction work is in progress on a 12.5-mile section of Interstate 35 (1-35) in Warren County, Iowa. But before this work began, the Iowa Department of Transportation wanted to find out if the federally endangered Indiana bat was in the vicinity. And if so, would the bats be adversely affected by the project?

Stantec biologists in Iowa are recognized experts on this bat and other indigenous state wildlife. The biological resources evaluation we conducted for the I-35 project included a review of wetlands, natural communities, invasive species and rare species habitat in the project corridor, including Indiana bats. These bats form maternity colonies in trees, so it was important to map out woodland tracts and other suitable habitat.

We employed mist netting to trap the bats at 11 sites; 12 Indiana bats were caught and six females were fitted with radio transmitters, enabling us to track their activity and find the maternity roost trees. Study results were included in a biological assessment completed for the project that detailed measures to avoid or minimize the loss of habitat during the construction phase along with measures to mitigate the losses.

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