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The news hit in the spring of 2011 that white-nosed syndrome had just been found in a cave in south-central Kentucky.  This disease was originally detected in a New York cave in 2007.  Since its discovery, this devastating disease has spread to more than 17 states and has killed more than a million bats.  Once it enters a cave system, bat mortality is over 90 percent.   The gray bat, a federally endangered species, is susceptible species to any disturbance because the entire population hibernates in only 17 locations across five states  - and Kentucky is one of those states.  Much has been done to protect this critically endangered species in Kentucky and more than 33,000 bats have been observed using Mutter’s Cave as a maternity site.  This preserve protects the cave opening, important entrance and exit pathways, foraging habitat along the creek and the karst topography lying immediately above the cave. The uplands are typical hayfields and little management, other than controlling access and some exotic plants is done in an effort to avoid disturbing the bats.

Access: No public access due to the sensitivity of the site for the critically endangered bat.

Access Type: Research Only
County: Barren
Region: Southeastern Region
Size: 108.28
Owner: Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves

​Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves

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Image of Terrapin Creek

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Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet
300 Sower Blvd
Frankfort, KY 40601

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The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability or sex. This policy protects the rights of Cabinet employees, service applicants and customers. Vendors, agencies and organizations providing services to the Cabinet or its recipients of federally-aided programs also must comply with this policy.