SHERIDAN, WY— The maternity roost of Townsend’s big-eared bats, which prompted the closure of Tongue River Cave, is still active. Forest Service officials have decided to keep the temporary closure in effect to the seasonal closure, that begins October 15th and runs through April 15th annually. Further evaluation will be made in the spring to determine opening dates, if feasible.
Townsend’s big-eared bats are considered a sensitive species by the Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Region. Wyoming is on the species’ northeastern habitat range making it uncommon in the Bighorn National Forest. “It is exciting to see a maternity roost on the forest,” states Bighorn National Forest wildlife biologist, Tracy Pinter. “This is especially important with white-nosed syndrome, a fatal fungal infection, decimating bat populations in other locations of the United States.”
Please do your part to protect this roost by respecting the closure and avoiding the area. For more information please contact the Bighorn National Forest at 307-674-2600.