Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The bat fauna of Jewel Cave National Monument in the Black Hills of South Dakota is poorly known. The objectives of this study were to locate, identify, and census bats residing in and around Jewel Cave during the summer, to identify foraging areas used by bats at the monument, and to locate, identify, and census bats that use Jewel Case as a hibernaculum. Nine species of bats, listed in descending order of abundance, were documented at the monument during the summer of 1989: Myotis ciliolabrum: M. lucifugus; M. volans; M. thysanodes; M. septentrionalis; Eptesicus fuscus; Plecotus townsendii; Lasiurus cinereus; Lasionycteris noctivagans. P. townsendii and all species of Myotis used Jewel Cave both day and night, whereas E. fuscus used the case only as a night roost. L. cinereus and L. noctivagans resided in the forest surrounding the cave. Ninety-three percent of the bats trapped and netted were males. Most bats foraged at the forest edge, especially near sources of water. The primary source of water was the monument’s sewage ponds, although some bats used stock tanks placed at springs to provide water for wildlife. During winter of 1989-1990, 1276 bats were counted in the hibernaculum in Jewel Cave. Six species (P. townsendii, M. ciliolabrum, M. lucifugus, M. septentrionalis, M. thysanodes, and M. volans) accounted for 907 individuals, and unidentified Myotis totaled 369 individuals. Most P. townsendii were found hibernating between survey points a17 and a13 (312 individuals) and between the catacombs and survey point b10 (427), whereas most Myotis were found in the Dungeon (266). Some Myotis also were found hibernating in Deep Canyon (98), New Hope (24), between survey points Z9 and Z13 (18), and at survey point B23 (17). Elsewhere in Jewel Cave, fewer than 12 bats were found in any one area.


Jerry R. Choate

Date of Award

Fall 1993

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1993 John M. Anderson


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