National Park Service


Date of this Version



Natural Resource Report NPS/UCBN/NRR 2017/1378 / NPS 131/136132, January 2017, ix, 70 pages

Published by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Natural Resource Stewardship and Science, Fort Collins, Colorado

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Please cite this publication as:

Rodhouse, T. J., K. Slocum, T. Stefanic, S. Thomas, M. Lonneker and G. Dicus. 2017. Protocol for surveying bat use of lava tube caves during winter in Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve: Standard operating procedures. Natural Resource Report NPS/UCBN/NRR—2017/1378. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.


United States government work. Public domain material.



The Upper Columbia Basin Network I&M (Inventory and Monitoring) program and Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve are collaborating to monitor winter bat use in Arco Tunnel, which is a safely accessed cave in the northern portion of the monument that consistently has been found with the largest number of bats (~30/year) among the set of caves recently inventoried. The standard operating procedures documented here and the methods described in the associated protocol narrative will also be used to periodically inventory other caves within the monument and surrounding preserve as park resources and safety (winter environmental and accessibility) conditions permit. This protocol addresses the survey objective to regularly count bats in Arco Tunnel during winter (January-March) and in other caves as environmental conditions and staff resources allow.


This SOP describes the step-by-step procedures for preparing for field work and for preparing and organizing field equipment prior to the personnel training and entry into the field. Adequate preparation of equipment for the field and is crucial to a successful monitoring program.