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What We Do/Caves & Mines



Mine Web Tool

This tool is designed for public land managers, mining companies, consultants and contractors, and anyone else actively participating in abandoned mine closure projects. Access the tool here. Also be sure to download our publication, Managing Abandoned Mines for Bats (see below).


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Townsend's big-eared bat roosting in a mine
This Bat Conservation International video shows a Townsend's big-eared bat roosting in the main shaft of a complex abandoned mine in western Arizona. The bat is probably a male or non-reproductive female, since a maternity colony of more than 500 bats was located farther back in the mine. The bat's large ears are curled back, a very common posture when roosting or hibernating. You can also see two bumps located along the bats nose area. These are likely used to scent-mark roost sites or, possibly, the bat's young. This mine contains the largest known maternity colony of Townsend's big-eared bats in Arizona. Bat Conservation International and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management plan to install a bat-friendly gate to protect the colony in the fall of 2011, after the bats have left for the year. We normally do not linger long around bats to avoid disturbing them, and we don't handle them unless we must.


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Bobcat Kitten in Mine
The very young bobcat kitten seen in this Bat Conservation International video was spotted while surveying bats in a western Arizona mine. A host of evidence, besides the kitten, show that this abandoned mine was an active bobcat den. The mother likely moved to an upper level to avoid us. We decided not to survey these areas to avoid disturbing either the bobcat or the bats. This video highlights the importance of subterranean habitat to a variety of animals. These underground environments provide critical refuge from the scorching heat of Southwestern deserts. Bats are always the driving factor in Bat Conservation International's work in mines and caves, but we protect many other animals, as well. Please note that we maintained a safe distance from the kitten and made no attempt to touch or disturb it beyond filming. 


Managing Abandoned Mines For Bats (our most recent publication)

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Bats and Mines Brochure
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Agency Guide to Cave & Mine Gating 2009
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Bats and Mines Handbook
This is now out of print, but we still have e-versions for interested parties to download. We have created several .pdf files without photos so that the file size remains small and will be quick to download.

Chapters 01-08
Chapters 08-16
Chapters 17-25
Chapters 26-33
Chapters 34-37
Chapters 38-45
Chapters 46-52

(our most recent publication)

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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Unless otherwise noted, all images are copyright ©Merlin D. Tuttle and/or ©Bat Conservation International