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 relative threats to humans and bats. 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.
Our recommendations are implemented in close collaboration with local land managers. Our actions may include construction of bat-compatible gates, projects to maintain airflow, fencing to limit access, signage and even decommissioning of roads and trails. 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.