Bats Roosting During Summer Leaving Kartchner Caverns State Park; Big Room Tour Resumes October 15

October 11, 2016

PHOENIX - Guided tours inside the Big Room at Kartchner Caverns State Park will resume on October 15, 2016. The Big Room closes temporarily each summer while it serves as a nursery for around 1,000 female cave myotis bats. Pregnant females return to Kartchner Caverns around the end of April each year, where they give birth to a single pup in late June and leave the cave in mid-October. (Please note: Rotunda/Throne Room tours are open year-round).

The bats are important to the ecosystem of the cave because they are the main source of food for all sorts of tiny invertebrates that live in the cave. When the bats come back to the cave, they digest their food and produce guano that accumulates in small piles in the cave.

For these reasons, Arizona State Parks protects the bats home, while still allowing people to visit. Several studies were conducted before development to see how to best protect the bats. The results of the studies led to closing the Big Room for tours while the bats are using it. Rangers at Kartchner Caverns monitor the bat populations each summer to see that they remain stable. Learn more by taking a tour of the Big Room! Make a reservation by calling (520) 586-2283 or visit AZStateParks.com.

WHAT: Big Room Tours Resume (Rotunda/Throne Room Tours are available year-round)

WHERE: Kartchner Caverns State Park - Located on Highway 90, nine miles south of I-10 near Benson. 

WHEN: October 15, 2016

For information about Arizona State Parks and the many recreational, historical and cultural programs call 1-877-MY-PARKS or visit AZStateParks.com.

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Learn More about Kartchner Caverns State Park