Resource Management

Sauta Cave provides a summer roosting site for about 250,000-400,000 gray bats and a winter hibernacula for both endangered Indiana and gray bats. Historically, it was a maternity roost, but the colony is currently mainly bachelor males. However, a new maternity site with about 4,000-5,000 young was discovered in 2003. The predominant management activities are law enforcement and resource protection aimed at protecting crucial habitat of the Gray and Indiana bats.

Gates have been erected and maintained. Law enforcement patrols are conducted to insure that people are abiding by Refuge regulations, particularly rules prohibiting entrance into the cave itself.

Management Objectives

  • Protect gray and Indiana bats and their critical habitat.
  • Provide habitat for a natural diversity of wildlife and plants, especially species associated with cave systems.
  • Provide opportunity for compatible outdoor recreation, environmental education/ interpretation.

Click here to view the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Complex Comprehensive Conservation Plan which includes the management objectives for Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge.