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Regional Director Tom Melius Tours Rocheport Cave
Midwest Region, March 31, 2009
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Photo by James Maritz
Photo by James Maritz - Photo Credit: n/a
Photo by James Maritz
Photo by James Maritz - Photo Credit: n/a
Photo by James Maritz
Photo by James Maritz - Photo Credit: n/a
Photo by James Maritz
Photo by James Maritz - Photo Credit: n/a
Photo by James Maritz
Photo by James Maritz - Photo Credit: n/a
Photo by James Maritz
Photo by James Maritz - Photo Credit: n/a

On Tuesday, March 31, Region 3 Regional Director Tom Melius took a tour of the Rocheport Cave as part of Melius' trip to visit the Columbia Ecological Field Services Office in Missouri. Melius was accompanied by Charlie Scott and Paul McKenzie of the Columbia Field Office, in addition to Bill Elliott of the Missouri Dept. of Conservation, and Ashley Spratt of the External Affairs office.

Caves are abundant in the state of Missouri, especially in the karst environment of the Ozarks. Karst topography results from the erosion of dolomite and limestone, which is the predominant bedrock in the Ozarks. Rocheport Cave, once a show cave, is now designated as a Conservation Area, and is closed to the public due to the presence of endangered Indiana bats.

During the cave tour, Melius, Scott, McKenzie, and Elliott discussed the cave's importance as habitat for the Indiana bat and the gray bat - also endangered - in addition to the efforts that have been made to preserve and maintain the cave's ecological condition. The group also discussed at length the threat that white-nose syndrome poses to bats. White-nose syndrome, which is thought to be caused by a fungus, has killed hundreds of thousands of bats along the east coast.


Contact Info: James Maritz, 573-234-2132, jimmy_maritz@fws.gov



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