Report from Mt. Aeolus
Bat Cave (Vermont) - February 14, 2008
The message below is posted with permission and describes Peter
Youngbaer's trip to Mt. Aeolus Bat Cave in Vermont on February 14.
From: Peter Youngbaer
Thursday, February 14, 2008 5:59 PM
Subject: Re: article
Here's my report from Mt. Aeolus Bat Cave in Vermont: Scott
Darling, Vermont Bat Biologist, another of his staff, and I snowmobiled
and snowshoed the two miles up to the cave this morning.
While we were changing into full hazmat attire (full tyvek suits and
respirators), we noticed several bats flying around the
entrance. Air temp was about 20 degrees and sunny.
We just had another 6" of snow and sleet yesterday.
We counted nearly 85 bats hanging on the rocks immediately at the
entrance, outside the gate - i.e. in virtually full light. A
couple of corpses on the ground, plus several live and dead/frozen
bats, including a couple with full White Nose Syndrome.
Passing through the gate, we saw 1000 - 1500 bats in the entrance Guano
Hall. Numerous flying, many more corpses (I would estimate we
saw 20-30 without searching hard). Present were Little
Browns, Eastern Pipestrelles, and a few Indianas.
At the bottom of Guano Hall, you enter another room with several
anterooms. Another 1000 or so bats here. Up to 50 with
WNS. We did not go farther into the cave.
While the majority of the bats looked normal, the fact that WNS was
present, that so many were near the entrance, that corpses were
plentiful, and that many were active and flying were certainly not good
signs. Several bats landed on me and walked
around. On our way out, after locking the gate, we saw a
freshly dead bat - it had been flying, but landed in the snow and died.
Note: it's been at least two years since cavers have been in
This is the fifth site Scott et al have checked, with the Greeley Mines
next on the 25th. No WNS seen at the other sites - just
Morris and Aeolus up to now.
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last updated or verified on February 15, 2008