Tag: Colorado Cave Survey

Forest Service extends cave closures to protect bats

The big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) commonly lives in man-made structures but migrates to higher elevations in winter to hibernate. It eats wasps, beetles, leafhoppers and other agricultural pests. PHOTO COURTESY NATIONAL PARK SERVICE.

Scientists still grappling with spread of deadly white nose syndrome

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Caves and abandoned mines on national forest lands in the Rocky Mountain region will be closed for another year as biologists try to pinpoint risks to bat populations.

The Forest Service closed access to the caves a year ago as a preventive measure to stop the potential spread of white nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has killed at least 1 million bats in the eastern part of the country since it was detected in New York 2006.

Some signs of the disease have been spotted as far west as Missouri and Oklahoma. Wildlife biologists don’t have a good understanding of how bats migrate, and some conservation biologists have suggested that  blanket precautionary closures could prevent the spread of the fungus. Continue reading “Forest Service extends cave closures to protect bats”