Caving With Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania Council 11-18-18

Yes, they were at it again. This time there were two new Troops to introduce to caving. Eastern PA Council set this one up at the same time as the one in October. This trip originally had sixteen people, but one Troop backed out at the last minute. It’s a shame because they missed a very good time with these girls. Maybe they’ll come out again when they can. We have been having a tremendous amount of rain and unprecedented snowfall for this time of year. As a result the cave actually had a good bit of water in it.

I like to use this cave for beginner trips because it is stable. But I’ve never seen this much water in this cave. Parts that usually have a little sticky mud had water over the top of my thigh. I choose to avoid the lower parts of the cave. For most of the girls this was their first wild caving trip. I didn’t want to take any chances with them and I didn’t want anyone cold and miserable. But they all got very muddy, and had a blast. How could I tell? Watch the video. L…

Boy Scouts Help With WNS Winter Survey

by Kirsten Alvey-Mudd

Thanks to Boy Scout Troop 864 from Wildwood, Mo and Christa Droste from Oakfield, Wisconsin for helping with WNS Winter surveys in Northeast Missouri yesterday!

The group learned about caves, cave safety, formations, cave biology and conservation while counting 241 bats, 11 live and 9 dead pickerel frogs, 10 creek chub, 2 wolf spiders and 1 dead raccoon. 127 tricolor, 11 little brown, 2 endangered gray and 8 endangered northern long-eared bats that were visibly WNS free. 1/3 of bats seen showed visible WNS, some quite extensive: 50 tricolor, 39 little brown, 1 endangered Indiana and 3 endangered northern long-eared bats.

This site has suffered an 87% loss of overall bat populations: 63% of tricolor and 74% of little brown. Since some recent movement has been seen in big brown bats already, we're assuming the 100% loss of those is due to early spring warm temps. Hopefully these same warm temps will allow some of these WNS bats to fly out, forage and survive at least this survey season.

Kirsten Alvey-Mudd is the Executive Director at Missouri Bat Census

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“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but well placed footsteps, kill nothing but time.” – cavers’ creed

National Speleological Society Youth Group Liaison Committee. The youth group’s connection to caves and caving.


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