The gray bat (Myotis grisescens) once flourished in caves all over the southeastern United States, but due to human disturbance, gray bat populations declined severely during the early and mid portion of the 20th century. At one cave alone, the Georgetown Cave in northwestern Alabama, populations declined from 150,000 gray bats to 10,000 by 1969. In 1976, M. grisescens was placed on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s endangered species list and put under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. Gray bat populations were estimated at approximately 2 million bats around the time they were placed on the Endangered Species list. By the early 1980s populations of gray bats dropped to 1.6 million. With conservation efforts in place, in 2002, gray bat populations were estimated to have reached 2.3 million bats.
Read more about Gray Bat: Population Biology, Cave Characteristics, Foraging Activity, Diet, Energy Expenditure and Growth, Factors Leading To Population Decline, Cave Gating, Protecting Populations, Endangered Status
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“So fallen! so lost! the light withdrawn
Which once he wore!
The glory from his gray hairs gone
—John Greenleaf Whittier (18071892)