Watch videos about bats and science at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
What species of bats and how many of each live here? How has this changed over time?
This information is the first step in science-based management of bats in parks. Species that are listed as threatened or endangered require special attention. Also, understanding how these populations have changed over time helps managers identify trends related to migration, changes in habitat or climate, and impacts of disease or other threats to bats.
Join park staff on cave adventures to monitor the unique animals, like bats, that live in caves.
Learn more about different bat species that live in our national parks and where to find them!
Where do bats roost, forage, hibernate, and raise young in the park?
Wildlife managers in parks need to know where bats live and what types of habitat they need for shelter and food in order to protect them. This information is used to make a variety of management decisions that may affect bat habitat. It is also helpful to know where bats can be found during different times of the year in case researchers, park managers, or others need to count them or catch them for surveys, scientific studies, or surveillance for diseases, like white-nose syndrome.
Are the bat populations healthy?
Monitoring the health of bats lets researchers know if the populations have white-nose syndrome or other diseases. It also lets managers know if bats suffer from other stressors, like contaminant poisoning from herbicides or pesticides for example.
Reproductive rates are indicative of a healthy population. We also learn whether the colonies are successfully reproducing. Emergence counts occur at maternity roosts before and after the pups have fledged. The pre-fledging counts at a known maternity colony over a couple of years also allows us to determine if the population survived the winter.