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  • Raptor Monitoring Update for May to June 2019

    The breeding raptor season is in full swing at Pinnacles National Park, with many species finishing up their nesting efforts. Here is an update on raptor activity through May and June.

Opening of the Bear Gulch Cave

The Bear Gulch Cave at Pinnacles National Monument will be completely open for the month of March. After March 31st, only the lower half of the cave will remain open for the remainder of the spring.

The cave is open each March and October for at least one and up to four weeks, depending on the presence of a colony of Townsend’s Big-eared bats. The bats, which are listed by the state of California as a species of special concern, raise their young (pups) and hibernate in the cave.

The entire cave will be closed from May 15th through July 15th to allow the bats to raise their young. After July 15th, the lower half of the cave will reopen. These dates are tentative depending on the activity of the bats.

When visiting the cave, please remember that it is the home of a sensitive species. To avoid disturbing the bats, please keep voices down. If you happen to see a bat in either of the Park’s caves, please do not disturb it or shine your light directly on it.

The Bear Gulch Cave (closer to the east entrance of the park) and the Balconies Cave (closer to the west entrance) both offer the opportunity to explore a talus cave. Please remember to bring flashlights and wear sturdy shoes. Seasonal streams run through both caves, and the rocks can be slippery when the stream is flowing.

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