Bat Migration Prompts Early Gate Closing
Contact: Bridget Litten, 575.785.3024
Now that most of the Brazilian free-tail bat colony that calls Carlsbad Cavern home for the summer is headed south to Mexico for the winter, Carlsbad Caverns National Park staff will be closing the entrance gate to the park at 6 pm., beginning on Sunday, November 4.
For safety and security during the visitor center renovation project, which began in early July, the park began closing the entrance gate at Whites City. The gate remained open until 10 p.m., during the summer months, to accommodate visitors who stayed for the evening bat flight. Now that the days are shorter, the few remaining bats that have yet to fly south for the winter have been flying out of the cave between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.
“With the fall back to standard time on Sunday, if there are any bats left, they could be flying as early as 3:30,” said chief of interpretation and education Marie Marek. “This gives people plenty of time to exit the park before the gate closes for the evening.”
When the bats return in the spring, the park will adjust its hours to accommodate visitors who attend the evening bat flight program.
For more information, contact public affairs specialist Bridget Litten at 505.785.3024.
Did You Know?
Jim White is the cowboy credited with being the premier explorer of Carlsbad Cavern. He began to explore the cave as a teenager in 1898, using a handmade wire ladder to decend 60 feet into the cave. For more than a decade, he couldn't convince many locals that there was much to Carlsbad Cavern.