Report from Mt. Aeolus Bat Cave (Vermont)  - February 14, 2008

The message below is posted with permission and describes Peter Youngbaer's trip to Mt. Aeolus Bat Cave in Vermont on February 14.

From:       Peter Youngbaer
Sent:        Thursday, February 14, 2008 5:59 PM
To:           Christa Hay
Subject:   Re: article

Here's my report from Mt. Aeolus Bat Cave in Vermont:  Scott Darling, Vermont Bat Biologist, another of his staff, and I snowmobiled and snowshoed the two miles up to the cave this morning.  While we were changing into full hazmat attire (full tyvek suits and respirators), we noticed several bats flying around the entrance.  Air temp was about 20 degrees and sunny.  We just had another 6" of snow and sleet yesterday.

We counted nearly 85 bats hanging on the rocks immediately at the entrance, outside the gate - i.e. in virtually full light.  A couple of corpses on the ground, plus several live and dead/frozen bats, including a couple with full White Nose Syndrome.

Passing through the gate, we saw 1000 - 1500 bats in the entrance Guano Hall.  Numerous flying, many more corpses (I would estimate we saw 20-30 without searching hard).  Present were Little Browns, Eastern Pipestrelles, and a few Indianas.

At the bottom of Guano Hall, you enter another room with several anterooms.  Another 1000 or so bats here. Up to 50 with WNS.  We did not go farther into the cave.

While the majority of the bats looked normal, the fact that WNS was present, that so many were near the entrance, that corpses were plentiful, and that many were active and flying were certainly not good signs.   Several bats landed on me and walked around.  On our way out, after locking the gate, we saw a freshly dead bat - it had been flying, but landed in the snow and died.

Note:  it's been at least two years since cavers have been in this cave.

This is the fifth site Scott et al have checked, with the Greeley Mines next on the 25th.  No WNS seen at the other sites - just Morris and Aeolus up to now.


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This page last updated or verified on February 15, 2008