Bat and Desert Tortoise Surveys and at Naval Air Facility El Centro

To assist Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest (NAVFAC SW) in meeting the requirements of the Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP), the San Diego Natural History Museum and Conservation Science Research and Consulting conducted focused surveys for bats and desert tortoise, respectively, on Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro and provided associated management recommendations.

The primary objectives of the surveys were to (1) document all observations of desert tortoise in one defined range on NAF El Centro and conduct ground-truthing focused surveys to determine the potential for the species to occur, and (2) document the diversity, distribution, and activity levels of bat species across all NAF El Centro training lands.

By using a variety of survey techniques (i.e., acoustic surveys, mist-netting, and night roost surveys) at appropriate times of year, staff members under the direction of Bat Biologist, Drew Stokes, were able to identify both resident and migratory bat species, foraging habitat, and roost locations.

Based on these survey results, the BioServices team provided management recommendations for maintaining bat presence and diversity on NAF El Centro, while minimizing disruptions to NAF training activities whenever feasible and maintaining compliance with the INRMP.