Volunteers try to bring bats back to Perryville, MO cave - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Volunteers try to bring bats back to Perryville, MO cave

(Source: Scott House/KFVS) (Source: Scott House/KFVS)

When you think of caves, you may think of bats.

But one very large cave near the center of Perryville doesn’t have any and the city wants to change that.

Perryville has over 300 sinkholes, all leading into caves where I’m currently standing at but what they’re trying to do is add more bats into one of their locations right into the heart of town.

“On repeated trips there were no bats in there,” Scott House, Ozarks Operation Manager for the Cave Research Foundation said.

The foundation took a biological survey of the Streiler City Cave to find out the condition of the cave.

“We suggested the idea to them saying, ‘gosh guys, if we got together we could put a good ‘bat gate’ on this cave,'” House said.

An idea that the Perryville City Administrator Brent Buerck said would be a win, win.

“It’s good for them, but it’s also good for us, we do mosquito spraying now and wouldn’t be cool if we didn’t have to spray as much because we have other ways of taking care of it,” he said. “And bats are an important part of the ecosystem, some of them are endangered already, so providing additional habitat would make it better for them while it’s making it better for us.”

There’s no bats right now, but the city and volunteers took down the old gate to make a change in hopes to bring the bats back. Now what’s left is the last piece of the puzzle.

“The one things missing from all of that was bats and to make the entire system of that ecology complete it really needs some bat populations,” House said.

House predicts that a year from now there will be bats in the cave and Buerck is excited for the future.

“It’s a healthy environment now and this is the cherry on top to allow the bats to come back as well,” Buerck said.

Instead of a vertical gate over the cave, which was previously in place, the foundation recommended a standard bat gate which is now in place.

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