Dr. Edgar A. Mearns, an army surgeon at Fort Verde from 1884 to 1888 and early excavator at Montezuma Castle, reported four feet of bat guano on the fourth floor rooms! Even accounting for exaggeration, that's a lot of guano. Today, we research the bats that now call Montezuma Castle and Well home. They're important as plant pollinators and they eat many annoying pests, like mosquitoes.
We've found at least 14 different species! Four of those 14 species are of special concern. Two species, the Western Red Bat and Townsend's Big-eared Bat are on the Arizona State Wildlife Action Plan as a Tier 1A species, meaning species of greatest conservation need. Two other species, the Big Brown Bats and Little Brown Bats are 2 of the 7 species affected by White-nose Syndrome (WNS). While WNS has not been found in Arizona, it has spread very quickly since first discovered in NY in 2007. We are especially excited to have these four species within the monument boundaries, see them doing well, and to be able to be a part of the conservation effort!
Bat Species Identified at Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well
Last updated: March 18, 2015