The Townsend's Big-eared Bat, a California Species of Special Concern with declining populations, is still doing quite well in Lava Beds. Because of this, the monument works hard to protect these bats and monitor their populations. This includes occasionally closing caves so that Townsend Big-eared Bats can raise their young. Mother bats are very timid by nature, and even one person walking past can cause them to fly away and abandon their babies, known as "pups." Since these bats gather together in maternal colonies of several dozen female bats and their flightless pups, one careless person can cause the death of that entire generation of bats. To ensure the protection of these maternal colonies, sensors installed in closed caves alert park personnel when a closure is violated. Thank you for respecting cave closures and protecting the bats of Lava Beds National Monument!