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Celebrate Earth Day And Bats At Kartchner Caverns State Park


Mike Lewis

The Big Room

Kartchner Caverns State Park will celebrate Earth Day and the return of the Myotis velifer bat colony to Kartchner Caverns State Park at "Bat Day" on Saturday, April 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The day will be filled with family activities, presentations and hands-on activities. The cave will be open for tours but those should be reserved in advance.

The event will include presentations in the theater by State Park Rangers and guest speakers including Keith Graves and Joel M. Diamond, PhD and live animal displays by Forever Donkeys, Rescue and Adoption. There will also be displays by Arizona Game & Fish Department and US Forest Service.

During the summer months, the cave's Big Room serves as a nursery for around 1,000 female cave myotis bats (scientific name Myotis velifer). Pregnant females return to Kartchner Caverns around the end of April, where they give birth to a single pup in late June.

Arizona State Parks conducted several studies before development to see how the bats could be best protected. The results of the studies led Arizona State Parks to close the Big Room for tours while the bats are using it. The bat populations are monitored each summer to see that they remain stable.

For more information visit The admission cost is the $7 park entrance fee. Guided cave tours will also be available but should be reserved in advance for an additional cost.

The Park is located on Highway 90, nine miles south of Interstate 10 near Benson.Full hookup camping sites are $30 per night. Stay at the park for the whole weekend and enjoy nearby attractions in Benson, Bisbee, Sierra Vista and Tombstone.

For information about all 30 Arizona State Parks and Natural Areas, the Trails and Off-Highway Vehicle Programs and State Historic Preservation Office call (602) 542-4174 or (877) MY-PARKS or visit Campsite reservations can be made online at or by calling the Reservation Call Center at (520) 586-2283. Open 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST. Follow AZStateParks on Twitter and Facebook.


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