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Shauna Marquardt, Missouri Ecological Services Office, was recognized for her efforts to help protect the world’s largest hibernaculum for Indiana bats. Photo courtesy of Dan Lamping/Missouri Speleological Survey.

Shauna Marquardt, Missouri Ecological Services Office, was recognized for her efforts to help protect the world’s largest hibernaculum for Indiana bats. Photo courtesy of Dan Lamping/Missouri Speleological Survey.

Shauna Marquardt recognized for
protection of Sodalis Nature Preserve

On April 30, 2017, Shauna Marquardt of the Missouri Ecological Services Field Office, was awarded the Missouri Speleological Survey's Tex Yokum Certificate of Appreciation. The certificate is given as a way to express gratitude to recipients for their support of the Survey’s goals, which include recording and conserving the caves of Missouri. The Survey recognized Marquardt for her pivotal role in the identification, characterization and permanent protection of Hannibal, Missouri’s Lime Kiln Mine, now Sodalis Nature Preserve.

Sodalis is winter home to the world’s largest hibernating colony of endangered Indiana bats. Sodalis Nature Preserve and Lime Kiln Mine were acquired using funds obtained by the Service as mitigation for impacts of construction of the Enbridge Flanagan South pipeline. The area is now part of the City of Hannibal’s Parks and Recreation Department, which will allow public use outside the mine. The Service maintains bat gates on all mine entrances to restrict access and prevent disturbance to the bats within.

Most award recipients are “kept in the dark” before they receive their commendations, but in this case, Marquardt was kept in the dark before, during and after the recognition event. At 57° Fahrenheit and totally dark, the deep underground of Onondaga Cave State Park near Leasburg, Missouri, was an admittedly appropriate setting for a speleological award ceremony, and for Shauna, who loves caves, cave exploration, and cave inhabitants personally and professionally. Just don’t call her a troglodyte.

By John Weber
Missouri Ecological Services Field Office

Last updated: July 7, 2017