U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Pilot Knob
National Wildlife Refuge


Indiana bats hanging from ceiling of a mine

Iron County, MO   
E-mail: mingo@fws.gov
Phone Number: 573-222-3589
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
http://www.fws.gov/refuge/pilot_knob/
Endangered Indiana bats find habitat in abandoned mines on the refuge.
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  Overview
Pilot Knob National Wildlife Refuge

Pilot Knob National Wildlife Refuge is located on top of Pilot Knob Mountain in Iron County, MO. It was acquired by donation from the Pilot Knob Ore Company on July 22, 1987, for conservation purposes. The 90-acre refuge contains iron mine shafts created in the mid-1800s which are critical habitat for the Federally endangered Indiana bat and gray bat.

Bats enter the shafts in the fall to hibernate then exit in the spring. At one point up to a third of the known world population of Indiana bats were believed to hibernate in the old mine. The refuge is managed by staff at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, in Puxico, MO.


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Wildlife and Habitat

Pilot Knob National Wildlife Refuge is home to many different species of wildlife.

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History
After the closure of mining operations, the Pilot Knob Ore Company donated this small tract of land to the National Wildlife Refuge System on July 22, 1987, for conservation purposes. Today, the remaining iron mine shafts, which were created in the mid-1800s, continue to provide critical habitat for the endangered Indiana bat and the endangered gray bat.

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    Note
The refuge is closed to the public.




Recreation and Education Opportunities
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Management Activities
Refuge staff protect habitat for the Indiana bat by maintaining natural processes and preventing disturbance. An eight-foot chain link fence is maintained around 40 acres for safety reasons to exclude public entry from the mine shaft openings.