White-Nose Syndrome and Cave Permitting

Sticker that displays text: "Save Our Bats! Obtain a permit before entering caves!" with a bat graphic.
Get your cave permit first!

NPS

In 2005, a deadly fungus was introduced to bat populations in the United States. Since then, this country has seen more than 7 million bat deaths due to this hardy and virulent fungus, P. destructans. Although humans aren't susceptible to this fungus, they can potentially and unknowingly collect and carry the fungus in their clothing, bringing it into new caves, mines, and other bat roost sites.

Help Us Protect Our Bats!

Since humans are a potential carrier of the bat-killing fungus, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve has instituted a screening procedure to help prevent the spread of white-nose syndrome to its caves. If you are planning on entering any cave within Craters of the Moon, please stop by the Visitor Center or Entrance Station to receive your free Cave Permit stamp. Displaying this stamp will show that you have been through the screening process and that you are helping protect the bats that live here.

During the permit process, be prepared to answer the following questions:

  1. Have you been in a cave, lava tube, or mine since 2005?
  2. Do you have any items with you that have entered the caves, lava tubes, or mines you previously visited? (e.g. clothing, shoes, flashlights, cameras, watches, phones, etc.) If you have items that have entered a cave since 2005, you will need to agree to leave them behind before we will issue you a permit.

Note: Permits are only valid for Indian Tunnel, Dew Drop, Boy Scout, and Beauty caves. All other caves in the monument, including Buffalo cave, are closed to protect bat populations.

What Can You Do?

  • Observe all cave closures.
  • Avoid caves with hibernating bats.
  • Researchers and caves should decontaminate before and after visiting caves and lava tubes.
  • If bats are in your home and you don't want them there, work with your local natural resource agency to remove the bats without harming them.

What is Being Done?

  • More than 100 agencies and organizations are collaborating under one plan to address WNS.
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service funds research to better understand the fungus, and disease, and its effects on bats.
  • We are collaborating to contain the spread by limiting access to sensitive sites and developing decontamination protocols for researchers and cavers.

Last updated: June 1, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve
P.O. Box 29

Arco, ID 83213

Phone:

(208) 527-1300

Contact Us