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Another endangered bat documented at Hell Creek Natural Area

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Monday, April 24, 2017

A federally endangered species, the Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), was recently added to the list of endangered species at Hell Creek Natural Area in Stone County. Two Indiana bats were documented during surveys in February by Bryan Rupar, ANHC Chief of Land Acquisition and Stewardship; Patrick Moore, Mitigation Surveying Services, LLC; and Mike Slay, The Nature Conservancy.

In addition to the Indiana bats, Hell Creek NA supports populations of the Hell Creek cave crayfish (Cambarus zophonastes), gray bat (Myotis grisescens), northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), all federally endangered species. To protect these sensitive species, the cave is closed to the public year-round.

Located at the boundary of the Springfield Plateau and the Salem Plateau of the Ozark Mountains, Hell Creek Natural Area includes the mouth of Hell Creek Cave. Most of Hell Creek Cave is wet year-round, and many of its passages are flooded during storms and wet seasons. Hell Creek Cave is considered an example of a “solution channel” or “tunnel” cave. Over the years, as water flushed through the limestone cracks and openings, it carved out tunnel-like rooms.

Hell Creek, which flows through Hell Creek Cave, is spring fed and eventually empties into the White River. Hills above the cave support a diverse oak-hickory forest. For more information about Hell Creek Natural Area visit http://www.naturalheritage.com/natu…/hell-creek-natural-area.