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Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Angled Bars in Cave Gate Ease Travel for Bats

It's wildlife protection with an angle. When Missouri Department of Transportation contractors installed a bat-friendly gate at the entrance to Wind Cave off of Route 71 in McDonald County, they were careful to use angled steel bars, tying them into the rock at the cave entrance. Since bats use sonar navigation to find their way around, the angled steel is ideal because sound bounces off it, guiding the bats through the gate and making it easier for them to fly in and out of the cave. The gate was secured with a padlock to keep humans away from the bats' habitat and the habitat of a rare cave-adapted spider found inside. Any cavers who may be disappointed at Wind Cave's closure to humans have lots of other caves to explore, since fewer than 100 of the State's 5,800 caves have gates at their entrances.
 
--Aug 21, 2006

Alan Leary, (573) 526-6678 or alan.leary@modot.mo.gov

Photo of bars across front of cave
MODOT photo
The bars block access to the cave by humans, but bats can navigate in and out freely.

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On Wetlands and Uplands - Missouri
Updated: 12/12/2012
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