Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
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Current Events

Gray bat.  Credit: USFWS

Gray bat. Credit: USFWS

Comprehensive Conservation Planning:

Sauta Cave NWR has recently developed a comprehensive conservation plan (CCP). This document will guide refuge management for the next 15 years.

What is a Comprehensive Conservation Plan?

Under the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, wildlife refuges are required to develop a CCP. A CCP is a document that provides a framework for guiding refuge management decisions. All refuges are required by law to publish a CCP by 2012. You can read more about CCPs at the National Wildlife Refuge Association Website or The Citizen's Wildlife Refuge Planning Handbook at the Defenders of Wildlife's website.


Sauta Cave Planning

The Final CCP and EA for the Wheeler NWR Complex is now available online and can be accessed at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region's Planning website.

If you would like a hard copy or a CD of the document please feel free to send your name and address to Dwight Cooley, Project Leader, 2700 Refuge Headquarters Road, Decatur, AL 35603. You can also email @

Bat Emergence:

During the months of June, July, and August, one of nature's most spectacular events occurs every evening. At dusk, approximately 200,000 - 400,000 bats leave the cave to begin their nightly foraging. This event can last for up to an hour. Large numbers of visitors may go to the cave on summer weekends to observe the streaming emergence of the gray bats. To view the bat emergence, park at the Refuge entrance gate and walk approximately 100 yards to the cave entrance on your right. A new wildlife Viewing platform has been constructed to aid in the viewing experience.


Last updated: June 15, 2009