Wichita Bat Caves - 2012 Bat Count

  

Sunday - Feb. 26, 2012 - The last of the COG bat counts for 2012! This one was the Wichita Bat Caves in Western Central Oklahoma.
COG Members: Dale Amlee, Steve Beleu, Duane Del Vecchio, Dale and Carole Town, and Jon Woltz. Pictures credits and narrative by Duane.

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I picked up Dale and Carole in Altus and we headed to Weatherford to meet up with local Jon. There we met Dale and Steve. It was a good day for a bat count... nice and bright and warm!
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The two Dales! The WBC (Wichita Bat Count) Team! Heading for the entrance!
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Nice big opening... you think ... this might be nice!! Until you get into the cave and the ceiling gets about a yard off of the water and closer on the mudbank! Carole had always done just walking passage cave... we're about to throw her into the mud - quite literally!
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This was the cave I first showed off my new digital camera (about 2 decades ago) which I then lost down a rock crevice here! <grin> Our trip leader - Steve!! (our hero!) Off to do the start of the count
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We are going to take 4 soil samples throughout the cave to ship to scientists for analysis (and to see if GD is present) Cool tree roots sticking into the cave! Steve is keeping book... recording temperatures and counts from the counters.
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1 pip! 9 myotis velifer (common cave bat) They looked pretty healthy!!
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No signs of WNS (White Nose Syndrome) Here's my hand for comparison.. Muddy... and cool temperatures... not like outside!!
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37 rock temperature, 36 water, 36 mud, 39 air temp Dale doing what he does best in a cave.. finding a mudbank and getting a quick snooze!!! We were working pretty hard at crawling that we were putting off a lot of heat... which creates a fog that rises....
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There's a lot of pictures of bats (duhh!) for the scientists to look at more detail on the bats. Nothing like taking a break on a 36 degree mudbank! (It does soak though!!) <grin> Finally out of part 1 of 3 parts of this cave...
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Everyone was glad to STAND UP after about an hour in the cave! Which then everyone took a break and soaked up some sun!! (Isn't that great... getting all of that Vitamin D! (Not that they were worn out... of course not!!) :) As the entrance to the 2nd part is collapsed, we had to go to the other side and work our way back to the entrance...
  

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Last updated: 2/26/12