See bats near Mammoth Cave at upcoming DWR viewing event
Salt Lake City — Utah is home to 18 confirmed bat species, and an upcoming Utah Division of Wildlife Resources event in southern Utah will give you the opportunity to learn more about them and also have the chance to possibly see bats up close.
Bats are unique in that they are the only mammals capable of true flight. They are found throughout the state and can be abundant wherever they can find food, shelter and water. Utah's bats feed almost exclusively on insects.
Utah's greatest diversity of bat species is found in the southern part of the state, and DWR biologists conduct surveys to learn more about the different species, where they are located and how their populations are doing.
During these surveys, biologists use special nets — often placed near water or the mouth of a cave — to catch bats as they swoop down to eat insects. The biologists then quickly detangle the bats from the nets, identify the species, gather other health information and then release the bats back into the wild. At the upcoming event, members of the public will have the opportunity to take a close look at the bats before they are released.
"Bats are an incredibly important part of our ecosystem," DWR Southern Region Outreach Manager Adam Kavalunas said. "We are excited to provide more information about these unique animals and hopefully the chance to see them up close at our upcoming event. Participants will also have the opportunity to explore an awesome part of the state."
The bat viewing event will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 29 from 7–10 p.m. at Mammoth Cave in Kane County. While participants won't be able to handle the bats, they will still be required to wear an N95 mask when within 6 feet of the bats to help protect the bats' health. Masks will be provided or participants can bring their own. Participants are also encouraged to bring a small flashlight or headlamp because it will be very dark.
While the event is free, participants are encouraged to register in advance on Eventbrite.