Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge, known as Blowing Wind Cave NWR until 1999, lies just above the Sauty Creek embayment of TVA’s Guntersville Reservoir, seven miles west of Scottsboro, Jackson County, Alabama. The refuge established in 1978, under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to provide protection for the federally endangered gray and Indiana bats and their crucial habitat consisting of 264 acres of hardwood forest. The cave provides a summer roosting site for about 300,000 - 400,000 gray bats and a winter hibernaculum for both bats. There are two entrances into the cave on the Refuge but they are closed to the public. As a result of the unique species within the cave, the Alabama Natural Heritage Program ranks the cave's biodiversity as a site of very high significance.
In addition to the rare fauna within the cave, the federally threatened Price's potato-bean occurs on the Refuge.
The management objectives for Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge include:
- 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.
Sauta Cave was used as a saltpeter mine during the Civil War, a nightclub during the 1920s, and a fallout shelter during the 1960s.
Other Facilities in this Complex
Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Complex.