Doors installed in Alabama bat cave to protect habitat

By on October 23, 2021 0

ANNISTON, Alabama (AP) – Gates were installed at the mouth of a cave in eastern Alabama to protect the habitat of two endangered species that live in the cave, the national agency said. wildlife.

Extracted by the Confederacy during the Civil War for saltpetre, a component of gunpowder, Weaver Cave near Anniston is a major home for gray bats and tricolor bats, according to a Department of the Ministry of Justice release. Alabama Conservation and Natural Resources.

The cave was purchased by the Georgia-Alabama Land Trust in 2020, and gates were installed to prevent people from entering using money from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The barriers are meant to keep humans at bay but to protect winged mammals, said Nick Sharp of the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.

“They don’t restrict the airflow at all. The main entrance to Weaver is where almost all the bats come in and out. The bats always come out near the top, which is left open to give them enough space for them to flow out and the bats don’t retreat behind, ”he said.

Humans have a long history in the cave, including an attempt by a former owner to use a room to raise chickens. The cave was also once referred to as a bomb shelter due to its size.