Colossal Cave Mountain Park is both a home and a waystation to nearly half of all bat species found in Arizona, including some rare and threatened ones. Contrary to common belief bats are best described as shy, gentle and intelligent creatures. And even though they are among the least appreciated mammals, they are a vital part of our entire ecosystem as insectivores and pollinators.
The females of two species hibernate during winter in nearby cool caverns and crevices, usually at higher elevations. In the spring they move to lower elevations to bear their young in “maternity colonies.” These colonies may be in buildings, mine tunnels, or caverns like Colossal Cave. The two species are: Townsend’s Big-eared Bat, Cave Myotis Bat, a threatened species. Three other species use Colossal Cave, as a summer home or a stopover point in their migrations. They are: the Mexican Long-tongued Bat, the Pallid Bat, and the Pipistrelle Bat. And many other bat species can be seen in Colossal Cave at certain times of the year.