In 2006, a deadly fungus was introduced to bat populations in the United States. The fungus causes a disease in bats known as white-nose syndrome (WNS). Since then, North America has seen millions of bat deaths due to this hardy and virulent fungus, P. destructans. Although the disease does not affect humans, we can unknowingly carry the fungus on our clothing and equipment, bringing it into new caves, mines, and other bat roost sites.
Help Us Protect Our Bats!
Since humans are a potential carrier of WNS, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve has instituted a screening procedure to help prevent the spread of white-nose syndrome to its caves. If you are planning on entering any cave within Craters of the Moon, please stop by the Visitor Center or Entrance Station during business hours to receive your free Cave Permit. Be sure to bring the permit with you when visiting the caves. The Annual, Senior, Military, and Access passes do not count as a cave permit.
During the permit process, be prepared to answer the following questions:
Note: Permits are only valid for Indian Tunnel, Dewdrop Cave, Boy Scout Cave, and Beauty Cave. All other caves in the monument, including the Buffalo Caves, are closed to protect sensitive bat populations.
What Can You Do?
What is Being Done?
Learn More about White-nose Syndrome
Bats are an important part of many ecosystems, and the National Park Service works with other agencies as well as conservation groups to prevent and slow the spread of this deadly disease.
Last updated: October 19, 2021