Wind Cave National Park is a 33,924-acre park in the southern Black Hills in western South Dakota that conserves the namesake cave and the landscapes and associated wildlife above. Wind Cave and other small caves on the park do not appear to be hibernacula (winter homes) or roosting sites for large numbers of bats, probably due to unsuitable climate in the caves. Although very small numbers of overwintering bats (groups of less than 14) have been found in the caves, the limestone cliffs and forests on the park likely provide good bat roosting habitat. Several perennial streams, sewage ponds, and seasonal ponds in wet years provide drinking water for bats.
The Northern Great Plains Inventory & Monitoring Network monitors bats to detect long-term trends in bat populations at the park. Four recording stations and one mobile recording route were established in 2014 at Wind Cave National Park for long-term bat monitoring. Acoustic recorders detect the unique ultrasonic calls bats use for echolocation. There were 48,666 bat call recordings from stations across all survey nights from 2014–2017. The data were analyzed through specialized software programs that make preliminary identifications of the bat species based on individual call characteristics, such as frequency and shape. Some bat species make calls that are similar to other species, which is why researchers with special expertise review the calls and make the final species determinations.