Cave Biology

lesser long-nosed bat
Coronado Cave provides a home for a diverse community of insects and small animals. Within this community are beetles, millipedes, spiders, crickets, coatimundis, ringtails, and bats. Some of these animals come into the cave occasionally for shelter or warmth, and they tend to stay near the entrance where there is more light. Others, mostly the insects, live within the cave in a specialized niche of darkness. Please be careful not to disturb any of the cave wildlife.

Insects are the most predominant form of life in the cave, having adapted to a dark and sparse environment. Their habitat is relatively stable because it is a limited environment. Since cave insects are accustomed to a meager existence, their niche in this ecosystem is secure. However, should food sources increase, insects from the outside could invade portions of the cave and replace the specialized cave insects. To help preserve the this unique environment, please don't eat in the cave and pack out all trash.

Several species of bats are occasionally observed within the cave. If you are fortunate enough to see bats, please do not disturb them. They are particularly vulnerable when hibernating and if disturbed or awakened, may waste valuable stored energy and die. Most bats are healthy and will avoid human contact. However, they can carry rabies, and you should avoid dead bats, bats that exhibit aggressive behavior, or those crawling on the floor unable to fly. Please report observations of bats to the park rangers.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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