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While Batman might not live here, Missouri is home to thousands of bats. A fungus causing White Nose Syndrome has been found in and around many of the caves in Missouri and Illinois threatening the survival of the bat population. This past spring the AmeriCorps St. Louis Emergency Response Team has been working with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) to help save the bats near the Current River in Shannon County, Missouri. Through a United States Fish and Wildlife Service Grant, The AmeriCorps St. Louis Crew was able to create an access trail that was needed to create the steel gate that would protect the bats from human interaction while they can regenerate the bat population. Equipment brought in steel that was used to create a 20 x 64 ft gate closing off the entrance to the cave.
“It was gratifying to know our team’s efforts were instrumental in the the preservation of these bats for future generations.” -Lucas Boyd, Team Leader for the Bat Cave Trail Project, ERT Yr 18
Scouting out a possible route for the trail with MDC Partner, Susan Farrington. Photo by Lucus Boyd
Jason Edwards, ERT Yr 18 saws a fallen tree to create the access trail.
Fun Fact about Bats: A single colony of 1,000 bats, with each bat weighing less than half an ounce, may eat more than 2,200 pounds of insects per year–about 660 million insects! (Missouri Department of Conservation)