KDFWR monitors some of the most important populations of endangered bat species and their habitats in North America. Endangered species including Indiana, Gray and Virginia Big-eared bat numbers are monitored at regular intervals to determine population fluctuations at historically significant hibernacula and maternity cave sites. Monitoring cave gating, fencing of caves and caves entrance cleanup projects helps determine how bats are responding to these management strategies.
KDFWR investigates those caves that were once important hibernacula or maternity sites to determine why bats have abandoned them or why numbers have declined. Physical changes to cave entrances and improperly installed cave gates to stop people from entering create climatic changes in the caves causing the loss of cool air and moisture and making caves inaccessible to bats. Human disturbance also plays a major factor in causing declines. By installing “bat-friendly” cave gates or fences to restrict access, by installing air dams in caves or at entrances to restrict airflow all have helped to restore cave climates making the caves inhabitable once again.