Mark Your Calendars: Bat Viewing At Pipe Spring National Monument

Allen's Lappet Browed bat is just one of 15 different kinds you could see at Pipe Spring National Monument. NPS photo.

Though our recent feature on Pipe Spring National Monument by Lee Dalton focused on the historical aspects of the monument in Arizona, there's quite a bit to say about creatures flitting about overhead there.

And if you visit the monument on June 13, July 23, or August 17, you'll be able to learn about the 15 species of bats seen at the monument, and possibly even catch a glimpse of some of them. On these dates the monument staff will be offering evening bat programs from 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. AZ (8:30 p.m.– 10:30 p.m. Mountain).

Pipe Spring has been periodically monitoring the bat population at the monument for over 10 years. The last two years staff there has embarked on a special research project with Dr. John Taylor of Southern Utah University. In cooperation with the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians, the purpose of the project is to provide critical information about the bat species that use Pipe Spring National Monument and the surrounding Kaibab Indian Reservation. The study will determine spatial and temporal bat activity, such as migration patterns and distribution across the Monument and the Reservation.

Dr. John Taylor was raised and has lived most of his life in southern Utah. A Pine View High School graduate, he later attended Dixie State College, earning his Associates of Science degree, and then headed to Southern Utah University for his Bachelor of Science degree in biology.

Dr. Taylor later attended Brigham Young University to continue his research about bats, earning his Masters Degree in zoology. His final stop was in at Syracuse University in New York, where he earned his Ph.D. Dr. Taylor has been at Southern Utah University teaching biology since 2002 and has maintained an active bat research program investigating how bats use mines, local water sources and our national parks. In addition to his professorial duties, he is a board member for the Utah Science Teachers Association and the Zion Natural History Association.

Dr. Taylor’s “right hand man” for the Pipe Spring research project is Cameron Jack. Cameron was raised in small Moapa Valley of southern Nevada. He has recently received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Southern Utah University and is planning to attend graduate school next year. This is his first experience studying one specific animal species and his desire to understand the dynamic nature of bats has inspired his continued research at Pipe Spring for over a year.

Under the tutelage of Dr. Taylor, he has grown familiar with bats and their use of sonar. He has become quite skilled at using the latest technology to analyzing bat sonar to identify the bat species at Pipe Spring National Monument.

So come to Pipe Spring on June 13, July 23, or August 17 to meet Dr. John Taylor and Cameron Jack, as well as several varieties of bats! Please bring a lawn chair, flashlight, bug spray, and water to drink. Come out early (7 p.m. AZ, 8 p.m. Mountain) and visit the Pipe Spring National Monument Visitor Center and Museum.

Regular entrance fees will apply - $5.00 per person 16 and older (younger are free). Interagency Annual, Senior, and Access passes are accepted and sold at Pipe Spring. Pipe Spring National Monument is 15 miles west of Fredonia, AZ on AZ 389, or 45 miles east of Hurricane, UT on UT 59 and AZ 389.