Update on Pennsylvania Caves
(March 3, 2008)

Noting the lack of information about Pennsylvania caves, Bob Zimmerman sent messages to some Pennsylvania cavers asking for information.  He received two reports from cavers describing recent checks of Pennsylvania caves for WNS.  The messages are posted here with the sender's permission.

The first message, dated 2/29/08, is from Kim Metzgar of the Mid-Atlantic Karst Survey (MAKC):
Just FYI, MAKC has been monitoring its caves for the white-nosed syndrome now destroying bat populations in New York State. MAKC has checked Hall Cave and Hesston #1 and #2 (located in Huntingdon County) one time during hibernation season and has found no indications of the syndrome. Yesterday, we did a bat count with Greg Turner of the Pa. Game Commission in Harlansburg Cave (Lawrence County) and there were no cases of it found there (thank goodness). Franklin County Grotto reports that Cleversburg Sink (Cumberland County) is now flooding, with water at least 10 feet deep, so the cave is inaccessible. There have been no trips into Billy Clay Pit (Pocahontas County, WVA) during hibernation season.

The second message, dated 3/3/08, is from J. D. Lewis of Bald Eagle Grotto in Williamsport, PA:
Over the past 4-8 weeks I've been to about 20 caves in Lycoming county and not observed any signs of WNS.  Also been to ~10 caves in Clinton county...  no sign of WNS.  Been to ~5 caves in Center county...  no signs of WNS.  Also 2 caves in Mifflin county...  no WNS.  None of these caves hold significant bat populations.

The last trip into Alexanders was over a month ago (just before this WNS thing started to get a lot of attention)...  no signs of WNS at that time, although there were 4-5 bats clustered close to the entrance gate at the top of the stairs?  At the time, I actually thought this was a bit odd, and commented about it to Adrian. I just cancelled a trip for Tri-State last weekend, pending further information.

Zimmerman said that when JD has more up-to-date information about Alexanders he will let us know.

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This page last updated or verified on March 4, 2008