UPDATE: Fire can't stop Carlsbad bats

There are 13 comments on the Carlsbad Current-Argus story from Jun 15, 2011, titled UPDATE: Fire can't stop Carlsbad bats. In it, Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that:

Surrounded by a wildfire, Carlsbad Caverns National Park was closed for two days this week, so the re-opening tonight is something of a special occasion.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Carlsbad Current-Argus.

LNM

Hobbs, NM

#1 Jun 15, 2011
We were there just days before it all burned down, we saw maybe a dozen bats, my friends came from NY and were very disappointed. They didn't care much for the cave and just wanted to see all the thousands of bats they had heard of. The Carlsbad Caverns is turning out to be a bust for everyone. Very pathetic.
Sagebrusher

Iowa City, IA

#2 Jun 15, 2011
Yeah, they should keep a bunch of bats in cages and release them when the natural numbers are low so the tourons won't go home disappointed

Since: Nov 09

Location hidden

#3 Jun 15, 2011
lol!

I have only seen the bat flight once, and what struck me as ironic was that people were so willing to wait for quite a bit until the bats started to come out, but after they'd watched the bats come out for maybe five minutes or so, they started getting bored. Apparently the expectation was that there would be this huge whoosh! of bats coming out, and then everybody would go home. I had this sense of people really wishing they could leave, but being embarrassed to do so.

It's a television mentality. People want scheduled beginnings and endings and guaranteed performances. Nature doesn't work that way.
Sagebrusher wrote:
Yeah, they should keep a bunch of bats in cages and release them when the natural numbers are low so the tourons won't go home disappointed
CBad

Carlsbad, NM

#4 Jun 16, 2011
In the history of the bat flights it has never been only a dozen bats that came out. Unless it was bad weather in which case they cancel the public bat flight the bats will come out at feeding time.
Curious

Carlsbad, NM

#5 Jun 16, 2011
Miep wrote:
lol!
I have only seen the bat flight once, and what struck me as ironic was that people were so willing to wait for quite a bit until the bats started to come out, but after they'd watched the bats come out for maybe five minutes or so, they started getting bored. Apparently the expectation was that there would be this huge whoosh! of bats coming out, and then everybody would go home. I had this sense of people really wishing they could leave, but being embarrassed to do so.
It's a television mentality. People want scheduled beginnings and endings and guaranteed performances. Nature doesn't work that way.
<quoted text>
LOL...the first time I seen it when I came down here...I was expecting these big azz vampire bats to come out. The ranger got a little pissy with me when I asked if they were waiting for the little ones to get outta the way. Yeah, I know, pretty stupid, but after seeing the spiders and such down here compared to up north..anything was possible it seemed.
Sunflower

Carlsbad, NM

#6 Jun 16, 2011
LOL@ Sagebrusher! Some people don't appreciate anything and get their panties in a wad over about anything!!
Sagebrusher

Iowa City, IA

#7 Jun 16, 2011
Whenever I travel from Iowa to Arizona I always stop by Carlsbad Caverns...I will never understand people who are disappointed in the cave. Did they just take the elevator down and grab a sandwich? Were they too lazy to walk to the far end of the Big Room where you could park a 747 and almost fit the Statue of Liberty in several locations.

Here's a copy/paste from the NPS morning report about bat flight numbers, gee, I guess maybe the low numbers have something to do with the lack of rain?

"This spring, park employees noted that smaller numbers of bats seemed to be flying out of the cave during the nightly bat exodus. This is a common observation when environmental conditions are extremely dry since less moisture means fewer insects, the bats' main food source. Many of the bats in the park's resident Mexican Free-tailed bat colony, which has been counted at over 400,000, are believed to choose roosting sites closer to water in dry years. The park has had no measurable precipitation since last September."
http://www.nps.gov/applications/morningreport...
LMN

Hobbs, NM

#8 Jun 16, 2011
CBad wrote:
In the history of the bat flights it has never been only a dozen bats that came out. Unless it was bad weather in which case they cancel the public bat flight the bats will come out at feeding time.
Read that other posters info, you seem to note that you are some expert, well call the park if you are so sure about only dozens, then also ask them if bat flights had every been cancelled do to no bats. They said Col Boles the first boss there cancelled bat flights in the summer due to no bats in the 30's.
CBad

Carlsbad, NM

#9 Jun 16, 2011
LMN wrote:
<quoted text>
Read that other posters info, you seem to note that you are some expert, well call the park if you are so sure about only dozens, then also ask them if bat flights had every been cancelled do to no bats. They said Col Boles the first boss there cancelled bat flights in the summer due to no bats in the 30's.
I'm following what your saying. Just to be clear I don't claim to be an expert. I do go to the bat flights about 2 times a year and have never seen only a dozen (12)bats. Even when the bat count is low I still see what I would say to be 200,000 bats or more.

Since: Nov 09

Location hidden

#10 Jun 16, 2011
Cbad, we are in exceptional drought conditions, and bats rely on insect prey in order to survive.

Insects in turn predate on either plants or other insects, and plants need water.

It would make perfect sense that our bats are not hanging around the Big Cave much these days, and seeking instead riparian habitats.
CBad wrote:
In the history of the bat flights it has never been only a dozen bats that came out. Unless it was bad weather in which case they cancel the public bat flight the bats will come out at feeding time.

Since: Nov 09

Location hidden

#11 Jun 16, 2011
That's funny!

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

First time I saw a giant vinegaroon strolling across my yard in broad daylight, back around 1998, I thought I was in a science fiction movie.

Then I learned how beneficial they are, and how they have no venom. But in that moment, I was kind of shocked.
Curious wrote:
<quoted text>
LOL...the first time I seen it when I came down here...I was expecting these big **** vampire bats to come out. The ranger got a little pissy with me when I asked if they were waiting for the little ones to get outta the way. Yeah, I know, pretty stupid, but after seeing the spiders and such down here compared to up north..anything was possible it seemed.

Since: Nov 09

Location hidden

#12 Jun 16, 2011
Cool, thanks. Wrote the same myself below.

Carlsbad Cavern is world-class, and is very well worked out for visitors. I can't imagine visiting it via elevator on the way in, unless I was engaged in a tour of other parts of the cave other than the main part that is tourist-accessible. Going all the way down through the natural entrance is such a great experience; it gives one so much of a sense of the scope of some of these caves here.

I'm so glad the buildings didn't burn up. In this economic climate, it would be only too easy for the PTB to argue to just close it down. Or sell it.
Sagebrusher wrote:
Whenever I travel from Iowa to Arizona I always stop by Carlsbad Caverns...I will never understand people who are disappointed in the cave. Did they just take the elevator down and grab a sandwich? Were they too lazy to walk to the far end of the Big Room where you could park a 747 and almost fit the Statue of Liberty in several locations.
Here's a copy/paste from the NPS morning report about bat flight numbers, gee, I guess maybe the low numbers have something to do with the lack of rain?
"This spring, park employees noted that smaller numbers of bats seemed to be flying out of the cave during the nightly bat exodus. This is a common observation when environmental conditions are extremely dry since less moisture means fewer insects, the bats' main food source. Many of the bats in the park's resident Mexican Free-tailed bat colony, which has been counted at over 400,000, are believed to choose roosting sites closer to water in dry years. The park has had no measurable precipitation since last September."
http://www.nps.gov/applications/morningreport...

Since: Nov 09

Location hidden

#13 Jun 16, 2011
Again...you're making good points here. But during times of exceptional drought, it's quite possible that the bat population will, to a great extent, move elsewhere to find food.

I appreciate your feedback on this. I hope you didn't find my previous comment to be an attack on you, as I can see that you are being realistic, and I did not mean it to be such.
CBad wrote:
In the history of the bat flights it has never been only a dozen bats that came out. Unless it was bad weather in which case they cancel the public bat flight the bats will come out at feeding time.

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