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Jesse De La Cruz

Research Associate

Jesse De La Cruz is a Research Associate specializing in wildlife biology and ecology at Conservation Management Institute of Virginia Tech. Jesse manages a series of bat ecological research projects in the mid-Atlantic region. This research primarily focuses on documenting, capturing, and describing habitat use of northern long-eared and Indiana bats on the Piedmont and Coastal Plain of Virginia and North Carolina. Mr. De La Cruz works closely with private industrial, military, and civilian landowners, along with state and federal agencies, to conduct surveys and promote research and conservation of these declining species. He is also responsible for testing automated software used to identify bat calls, bat species niche and occupancy modeling, red bat coastal migration research linked to the MOTUS effort. A portion of his time is devoted to assisting graduate students of Dr. W. Mark Ford of the Virginia USGS Cooperate Research Unit. Prior employment with CMI, Jesse was lead bat biologist at AllStar Ecology LLC located in Fairmont, WV from 2012–2017. There his primary duties included habitat assessments, presence/absence surveys, and habitat conservations plans for Indiana and northern long-eared bats. During this time, Mr. De La Cruz also participated in stream and wetland delineation, reporting, and permitting projects. This diverse workload provided Jesse an in-depth knowledge of state and federal regulations, particularly the Endangered Species Act (Section 7/10 consultation) and Clean Water Act (401/404 permitting). 

Research and conservation of rare, threatened, and endangered bats

Wildlife habitat modeling and use analysis

Land conservation and management practices

Landscape fragmentation and remote sensing

West Virginia University

Master of Science: Wildlife and Fisheries Resources                        2012

Glenville State College

Bachelor of Science: Natural Resource Management                        2009

Associate of Science: Forest Technology                                           2008

De La Cruz, J.L., R.L. Ward, and E.S. Schroder. 2018. Landscape characteristics related to use of artificial roosts by northern long-eared bats in north-central West Virginia. Northeastern Naturalist, 25(3), 487–501.

De La Cruz, J. L. and R.L. Ward. 2016. Summer-habitat suitability modeling of Myotis sodalis (Indiana Bat) in the eastern mountains of West Virginia. Northeastern Naturalist 23(1):100–117.