|Exploring caves in Colorado is an entirely new and different experience. These fascinating geological features provide unique habitats for creatures that have evolved very specialized biological characteristics and behaviors meant for survival in this unusual setting. Those who take part in spelunking will discover a world that is not often seen.|
A concern associated with spelunking is White-nose Syndrome, a disease affecting bats that may be spread by humans. This condition is brought on by a white fungus found on the muzzle, ears, and wings. It is thought that White-nose Syndrome causes bats to starve to death after coming out of hibernation early and underweight.
More than a million bats have already been killed by White-nose Syndrome. It is important to protect these creatures because they are a crucial element in maintaining the health of certain ecosystems. Though White-nose Syndrome does not harm humans, it is thought that people can transmit the fungus from caves where it is present to uninfected roosts of bats.
Restrictions on cave and abandoned mine entry are being considered to slow and reduce the spread of White-nose Syndrome. Beyond this, you can help by:
- Following all decontamination procedures.
- Refraining from entering caves and abandoned mines with restricted access.
- Reporting syptoms of White-nose Syndrome, such as visible fungus and daytime. flight, to the local BLM office.
- Reporting any unauthorized cave or mine entry to the local BLM office.
Additional information about White-nose Syndrome