• View from Sourdough Mountain Overlook  A view looking down onto Diablo Lake. Photo Credit: NPS/Michael Silverman, 2010.

    North Cascades

    National Park Washington

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • State Route 20 closed at Mile Post 134, Ross Dam

    After a brief closure at Newhalem due to an avalanche and unstable conditions, SR 20 has re-opened to its normal winter closure point at MP 134, Ross Dam. The highway will remain closed from Ross Dam to MP 171 (Silver Star Creek) until spring re-opening. More »

  • Ross Dam Haul Road Closure Continues

    A short segment of the Ross Dam Haul Road between the Diablo Lake suspension bridge and the tunnel remains closed to public use due to continued recovery following a March 2010 landslide. The closure will remain in effect through 2014. More »

  • Notice of planned work for the Cascade River Road, fall 2014

    Visitors planning to access the park via the Cascade River Road after Labor Day should be advised that the Park Service is planning a fall closure of this road at Eldorado Creek (3 miles before the end of the road) in order to perform permanent repairs. More »

Bats

Bats are often seen feeding on insects over water and in riparian zones in North Cascades National Park.

Bats display the finest aerial acrobatics during nocturnal insect pursuits. These winged mammals are capable of darting around gigantic Douglas-fir trees, spiraling up into the canopy between branch and moss, sipping water from a small forest tributary on the fly, and skillfully capturing a moth in its membranous tail skin.

Why did bats shortly after the end of the dinosaurs, take flight from crawling among tree branches and begin their ceaseless consumption of insects around the globe? Why are bats important to forest ecosystems in North Cascades National Park? What type of habitat do bats depend?

Over the past few years these questions have been specifically studied at North Cascades National Park. Scientists have devised ingenious methods for getting a few answers to these and other questions about bats.

 
Bat Facts
 
Little Brown Bat (Myotis Lucifugus)
  • Nearly 1,000 kinds of bats account for almost a quarter of the world's mammal species.
  • Bats are an important predator of night-flying insects. They consume mosquitos, beetles, moths, grasshoppers, locusts, and other insects.
  • A single little brown bat can catch up to 1,200 mosquito-sized insects in one hour.
  • As well as having eyes for seeing, bats use echolocation to see with sound. They use echolocation to locate prey, to avoid barriers and even to return to their roosts in the dark.
  • Bats' slow reproduction rate makes them exceptionally vulnerable to extinction; most species of female bats give birth to only one young each year.
  • More than 50% of American bat species are in severe decline or already listed as endangered.
  • Loss of bats increases demand for chemical pesticides, can jeopardize whole ecosystems of other animal and plant species, and can harm human economies.
  • A colony of 150 big brown bats has been known to protect local farmers from up to 33 million or more rootworms each summer.
  • Bat droppings in caves support whole ecosystems of unique organisms, including bacteria useful in detoxifying waters, improving detergents, and producing gasohol and antibiotics.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

North Cascades National Park Service Complex includes 684,000 acres near the crest of the Cascade Mountains from the Canadian border south to Lake Chelan.