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Spavinaw Bat Cave Site Visit and Guano Pile Measurement – Delaware County, Oklahoma
Southwest Region, October 1, 2007
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Author: Richard Stark

Location: Delaware County, Oklahoma

Participants: Richard Stark, Oklahoma Ecological Services Field Office; Steve Hensley, Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge; Dr. Keith Martin, Rogers State University; and Bill Puckette

Executive summary: Richard Stark of the Oklahoma ES Field Office, Steve Hensley, manager of the Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge, Dr. Keith Martin, Rogers State University, and Bill Puckette, contract geologist and cave biologist, visited Spavinaw Bat Cave in Delaware County, Oklahoma, on October 19, 2007.  Spavinaw Bat Cave is a gated cave that is used by a maternity colony of the federally-listed endangered gray bat.  The site was visited to measure the guano pile that has collected underneath the main roost site during the last maternity season as a method to obtain an estimate on the colony size.  Guano pile measurements are taken at gray bat maternity caves in Oklahoma after the bats migrate to their hibernacula in northern Arkansas and Missouri.  These efforts allow documentation of population trends and response to recovery efforts.  A small colony of gray bats (roughly estimated to be between 500 - 1,000 bats) was still present further back in the cave beyond the main guano pile.  Guano pile measurements should be taken in mid-November in future years to avoid entering the site before all the bats have migrated to their hibernacula.  No signs of recent vandalism at the cave gate or in the cave were observed. 

FWS programs involved: Ecological Services and Refuges

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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