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What We Do/Caves & Mines

Program Overview


BCI's Subterranean Program identifies and protects important bat roosts in abandoned mines and natural caves. We facilitate collaboration among state, federal, and private organizations, allowing coordinated management over large geographical areas, and helping to ensure the best management decisions for both bats and the public.

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Program Goals

To conserve threatened, endangered and endemic (native to an area) species through protection and preservation of important mine and cave roosts worldwide. We emphasize large-area management that encompasses critical roost and forage sites for bats that migrate between winter and summer roosts.


Program Objectives

  • Management and conservation of mine and cave roosts across migratory routes to maintain safe habitat for migrating bats and to increase public safety.

  • Improve public awareness and mine-closure decisions through trainings, symposia, educational materials and outreach programs.

  • Assist private landowners and federal and state land bureaus in refining mine closure and conservation actions based on targeted research.

  • Conservation and preservation of subterranean roosts across the United States to help maintain numbers and diversity of cave- and mine-roosting bats in the Western U.S. in the face of White-nose Syndrome.

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Geographic Area - United States

BCI’s Subterranean Program emphasizes conserving connections among critical roosts for bats over large areas, through comprehensive management of mine and cave roosts in the Western United States. We work in major forest, desert and mountain ecoregions that extend from West Texas to the West Coast and Alaska. Although we are based in the West, we will respond to serious abandoned-mine issues outside of this region.  Recent AML work has included travel to Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, California, and throughout Arizona and New Mexico.

Global Impact

In addition to our projects throughout the United States, we are always amenable to opportunities to provide international assistance.  Currently, the Subterranean Program is working with a valued partner to help protect a critically endangered species of bat in Southern Peru, through a planned partnership of on-site consulting, telemetry assistance, and crafting a management plan for the protection of the bat.  We look forward to providing similar assistance in the future.  BCI has recently taken steps to expand its commitment as an international leader in bat conservation, and the Subterranean Program shares this mission.

Photos © BCI: Jason Corbett, Joseph Monfeli, Bob Pape.
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Last Updated: Monday, 22 July 2013
Unless otherwise noted, all images are copyright ©Merlin D. Tuttle and/or ©Bat Conservation International