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Shelly Colatskie Surveys Sequiota Cave Bats

Shelly Colatskie, cave ecologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation has been surveying bats in in Sequiota Cave and the results are looking good. Last year she found 72 tri-colored bats and now there are 112. She is also testing for White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). During last year's investigation in two bats were found to have WNS. Initial reports show no visual evidence of WNS, which is a good sign. Results of the cotton swab DNA tests should be ready by late summer.

Several species of bats, including endangered gray bats, use the cave at different times of the year. During the summer, educational bat viewing events are available at the mouth of the cave where 4,000 to 6,000 gray bats that come out at dusk to feed on insects. However, the cave has been closed to protect the bats until further notice.

Sources: News LeaderUSFWS/Ann Froschauer and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters


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Carol Zokaites

Zokaites works at the Virgina Department Conservation & Recreation as an Education Coordinator. Her combined passions for caves and science education has led to 16 years of teaching about groundwater and the unique habitats found in karst terrain. With 40 years of caving experience Carol has surveyed miles of cave passage and participated in many bat hibernacula surveys. In 1993 she authored "Project Underground - A Natural Resource Guidebook" which offers insight and expert help for teaching children about caves (available at the NSS Bookstore). Besides this, she is a dedicated volunteer. She serves as the Karst Education Coordinator for Nature Serve, a non-profit organization of about 1,000 conservation professionals work to ensure that relevant and reliable science is driving important conservation action. She is also the Virginia Karst Education Coordinator of Project Underground a non-profit that serves economic and environmental justice by providing informational,…