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Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
Ellington Agricultural Center
440 Hogan Road
Nashville, TN 37220
(615) 781-6500
Gray Bat monitoring in 2017 demonstrates the success of recovery efforts in Tennessee

In February 2017, inside Rattlin' Pit Cave in Cocke County, Tennessee, TWRA wildlife survey managers and a representative from the Southeastern Cave Conservancy located an estimated 85,955 hibernating Gray bats, along with four Tri-colored bats, and two Big Brown bats. This Gray Bat count means that the cave, owned by Newport Utilities, is now ranked as the fourth Tier 1 priority Gray Bat hibernaculum (winter hibernation site) in Tennessee, the state's fourth largest.

The Gray Bat, Myotis grisescens, was listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1976 as endangered under the Endangered Species Act as a result of drastic population declines throughout its range. This species is also state listed in Tennessee. Gray Bats were set to be de-listed until White-nose Syndrome was found. Fortunately, Gray bats have not been greatly affected by WNS. This species uses caves year-round and is, however, highly susceptible to human disturbance, especially during the winter.

View or download the Gray Bat Hibernaculum conservation summary for photos and to learn more about this species' ongoing recovery in Tennessee and how you can help.



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