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BATS Magazine

VOLUME 16, NO. 4 Winter 1998

Chiroptorium Update

Many readers have requested an update on the chiroptorium project described in the Winter 1997 BATS ("How to Build a Cave: A Bold Experiment in Artificial Habitat”).* Texas proprietor David Bamberger reports that although he had only fleeting bat visitors this past summer, several came to roost in early autumn. Bamberger had left the cave uncovered throughout the summer, in part to test the effects on internal temperatures, which proved to fluctuate too much. Sometimes the thermostat rose as high as 121°F.

After the chiroptorium was covered with soil in early August, however, the temperature decreased more than 30 degrees and then stabilized at about 88°, despite outside temperatures still in the 90s. By mid October, 15 cave myotis (Myotis velifer) and one Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) had moved in.

In late autumn, the soil over the chiroptorium was sprigged with native grasses. It will soon blend into its surroundings and become the perfect home for free-tailed bats to discover during their spring migration back to Texas.

* You can find this article in the BATS magazine archives on the BCI web site at: http://www.batcon.org/batsmag/batindex.html

BCI biologist Brian Keeley and visiting bat conservationists from Japan joined Margaret Bamberger last September on a tour of the chiroptorium. At that time, the 3,000-square-foot artificial cave had just been covered with soil.
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All articles in this issue:
On the Cover
106 Species and Counting: Bat Conservation Comes to Bolivia
The California Leaf-nosed Bat, Sophisticated Desert Survivor
Around the Clock in Rodrigues
A Personal Portrait of the Rodrigues Fruit Bat
What if You Went to School with Bats?
Members in Action: Bob Wisecarver
Meet Membership Manager Amy McCartney
Chiroptorium Update
Look for "Masters of the Night: The True Story of Bats" at these locations:
Your Comments Welcome!
Mark Your Calendar for 1999 Members' Nights At Bracken Cave
Annual Report Available
Wish List
The BCI Legacy Circle: A Commitment to the Future

Unless otherwise noted, all images are copyright ©Merlin D. Tuttle and/or ©Bat Conservation International