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Contact: Lisa Collins, 505-285-4641 ext. 18
National Park Service Closes Junction Cave for Caving
El Malpais National Monument Superintendent Mitzi Frank announces that Junction Cave is closing for the season at 4:00 p.m. on October 18, 2017. Junction Cave is closed during the winter months so hibernating bats will remain undisturbed. The cave is expected to re-open on April 15, 2018.
“Junction Cave has the largest known hibernaculum in the monument for Townsend’s big-eared bats, a Species of Special Concern in New Mexico” said Eric Weaver, the park’s Branch Chief of Natural Resources “Human disturbance during hibernation can cause significant impacts to hibernating bats and may even result in the abandonment of the cave as a hibernaculum. Very few locations offer the ideal conditions for bats to hibernate in and relocation can cause tremendous physical stress to bats and jeopardizes their survival.”
Four caves, Big Skylight, Giant Ice, Four Windows, and Xenolith, remain accessible to cavers through the winter. To obtain a caving permit visit the El Malpais Visitor Center or El Morro Visitor Center.
More information can be found online at www.nps.gov/elma and El Malpais National Monument staff can be reached at 505-876-2783.