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What We Do/Caves & Mines

What We Do

BCI works with diverse partners to conduct mine and cave assessments and targeted research to identify the most important abandoned mines and caves used by bats, and to address the relative threats posed to humans and bats by recreational or incidental human access to these subterranean environments. We also partner to install bat-friendly mine and cave gates and to conduct workshops and educational outreach events.

Increased understanding among land managers and the general public is the path to sustainable conservation of bat roosts in mines and caves: we protect what we value. To that end, we collaborate with key partners to develop and implement outreach and training events and publications. These include public presentations, mine- and cave-assessment workshops, gate-construction workshops, and publications on managing mines and caves for bats.

Site-based assessments are the backbone of an effective program. Understanding mine resources within an area and how bats use them is accomplished through on-the-ground surveys that often include trips into the mines and caves. Once we understand the value of the resource, we work with managers to develop the best recommendations to protect important bat habitats and help managers accomplish their objectives. We work directly with managers to implement bat gate solutions that provide safe and continued access to subterranean habitat for bats, and protect the public.


BCI Subterranean Surveys

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Operational Capabilities
The BCI Subterranean Program provides a wide range of services and technical capabilities to meet subterranean conservation goals worldwide.

  • Abandoned Mine Survey - Uranium, Coal, Hard Rock
  • Seasoned Experience, International Reach
  • Vertical Access - Shafts, declines, and winzes
  • Adits - Partially collapsed, timbered and untimbered, dry to flooded
  • Internal Mapping and Habitat Survey
  • Field Photography / Videography
  • Gating - Assistance with prioritization, design, and construction / implementation of all types of bat gates and bat-compatible closures.
  • All-Terrain Reach - Our field teams are capable of extended backcountry access, via 4WD, ATV, ski/snowshoe, and rugged off-trail travel.
  • Precision - Accurate characterization and documentation of cave and AML sites on the landscape. 
  • All-season field capability.
  • Remote Acoustic Monitoring - Soundscape and Species Diversity Analysis
  • Policy Development and Study Design
  • Management Plans - Research, Design, and Implementation
  • Mist Netting - Live capture and bat identification.
  • Radio tagging and telemetry tracking

Our recommendations are implemented in close collaboration with local land managers. Our recommended actions may include construction of bat-compatible gates, projects to maintain airflow, fencing to limit human access, establishing signage, and even decommissioning of trails and roads. Hazardous mines that provide limited habitat may be recommended for permanent closure to increase public safety.

In short, the Subterranean Program conserves and preserves bat habitat.

Photos © BCI: Jason Corbett, Joseph Monfeli

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Last Updated: Friday, 28 June 2013
Unless otherwise noted, all images are copyright ©Merlin D. Tuttle and/or ©Bat Conservation International