About the Refuge


Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge (known as Blowing Wind Cave National Wildlife Refuge until 1999) is a 264-acre Refuge purchased in 1978 to provide protection for the federally endangered gray and Indiana bat and their crucial habitat. The cave provides a summer roosting site for about 200,000 - 400,000 gray bats and a winter hibernacula for both the gray and Indiana bats. There are two entrances into the cave on the Refuge but they are closed to the public.

As is the case with many large caves, rare and unique species occur in Sauta Cave. As a result, the Alabama Natural Heritage Program ranks the cave's biodiversity as a site of very high significance. Surprisingly, the cave is not a pristine one as it was used as a saltpeter mine during the Civil War, a nightclub during the 1920's, and a fallout shelter during the 1960's.

In addition to the rare fauna within the cave, the federally threatened Price's potato-bean occurs on the Refuge. Habitat outside of the cave is predominately hardwood forest.