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5th Annual Bat Week at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park - August 5th-9th

(Whitehall, MT) –Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) is hosting the 5th Annual Bat Week at Lewis &Clark Caverns State Park from August 5th through August 9th.

It’s time for our 5th Annual Bat Week at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park. Bats are the animal most associated with the park and we set aside a few days each August to celebrate these amazing mammals. Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park is home to nearly 10 ofMontana’s 15 bat species. During ‘Bat Week’ we offer a variety of programs from walks to slideshows that introduce park visitors to the many amazing adaptations of bats as well as to their unique lifestyles.

Tuesday,  August 5 and Wednesday, August 6, at 6:45pm feature our Cave Bat Tour. This tour is the one chance to get an up close view of the bats in the cave. Lewis & Clark Caverns houses 6 species of bats and the bat tours usually encounter at least 2 of these species while regular tours rarely see more than one.

After a brief slideshow to familiarize visitors with our local bats, the tour visits the upper portion of the cave. The tours cost $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12.

These are limited to just 12 participants so please call (406) 287-3541 to reserve a spot.

What: Bat Tour of the Upper Caverns

When: Tuesday, August 5 at 6:45pm

Wednesday, August 6 at 6:45pm

Where:Main (lower) Visitor Center

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park is located at:

25 Lewis and Clark Caverns Rd. Whitehall, MT 59759

(406) 287-3541

Thursday, August 7 at 8pm, the Thursday Night Ranger Program will feature “The Misunderstood Bat.” Join State Parks’ Ranger Tom Forwood as he presents this slideshow highlighting myths and misunderstandings of bats while countering them with the even more amazing facts that make bats so unique. This program will be held at the Main (lower) Visitor Center.

What:  “The Misunderstood Bat”

When: Thursday, August 7 at 8pm

Where: Main (lower) Visitor Center

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park is located at:

25 Lewis and Clark Caverns Rd. Whitehall, MT 59759

(406) 287-3541

Friday, August 8 at 8pm, join us for the Campfire Program  “The Status of Montana’s Bats & White-Nose Syndrome Surveillance Efforts” presented by Bryce Maxell. Montana’s bat populations face a wide array of conservation issues, including the potential arrival of Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungus that causes White-Nose Syndrome which has already decimated bat populations in eastern North America.  From the fall of 2011 through January 2014, scientists and volunteers have worked gathering baseline information that can be used to mitigate impacts.  This program summarizes the information and discusses the future of Montana bats and will meet at the Campground Amphitheater.

Friday, August 8, at 9:15pm, Bryce Maxell’s presentation will be followed by a Bat Walk into the park with Montana State Parks Ranger Tom Forwood. Meet in the main campground parking area near the Amphitheater and will last 90 minutes and walk up the park road to visit the park's largest bat colony in the old maintenance shop. Participants may also see other park wildlife that are active after dark.

Saturday, August 9 at 9:15, Tom Forwood will lead a second Bat Walk. Participants will meet at the campground parking area and drive down to the Jefferson River for a short riverside bat walk focusing on the great bat diversity of the Jefferson Canyon.

What:Guided Bat Walks

When:Friday, August 8 at 9:15pm

            Saturday, August 9 at 9:15pm

Where:Campground parking area

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park is located at:

25 Lewis and Clark Caverns Rd. Whitehall, MT 59759

(406) 287-3541

For directions and more information about Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park visit:http://stateparks.mt.gov/lewis-and-clark-caverns/

Aside from the special Cave Bat Tours, these programs are free to Montana residents and those registered to camp that evening in the park’s campground.  There is a $5 per vehicle entrance fee for any non-residents who would like to attend.  For more information or a full schedule of Bat Week events, contact Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park at (406) 287-3541 or email Tom Forwood at fwptforwood@gmail.com .

Join us in celebratingMontana State Parks 75th Anniversary in 2014! Visit Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) and enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, boating and more and discover some of the greatest natural and cultural treasures on earth.

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A division of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

stateparks.mt.gov

Contact:

Tom Forwood

Park Ranger,

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park

406-287-3541

fwptforwood@gmail.com

 

 

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