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Bat Caves Main Character: The Indiana Bat

Updated: Apr 19

Bat Cave, North Carolina is an unincorporated town in Henderson County, North Carolina. It is a staple of the Foothills region and is home to the endangered Indiana bat. It remains endangered on both the state and federal levels. Since 2010, the species has decreased by

27%. However, it is just one of seventeen different species within the cave.


Like many other endangered species, the Indiana bat was placed on an endangered list due to human disturbances in the 1960s. Bat Cave is the largest granite fissure known in North America, so the notion that humans were causing disruptions (likely through tour groups and light entrances) is unfortunately not surprising in today's society.


The official name for the Indiana bat is the Myotis Sodalis bat. It weighs only one-fourth of an ounce and is roughly two inches long. While their typical age range is usually five to ten years, many have lived to reach fourteen years of age.


One unique way to differentiate Indiana bats from other bats is to examine the size of their feet and the length of their toe hairs (yes, you read that correctly). While that may sound odd, or perhaps hyper-specific, it is a distinctive trait of Indiana bats.


Ensuring the preservation of Indiana bats is pivotal for our ecosystem. They help to eat night-flying insects, including crop pests. Continuing our efforts to educate the general public on their benefits to biomes will alleviate any misunderstanding of their importance.

--Olivia Grady


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