Withlacoochee Caves CWA
Total Area: 2.93 acres
Closure Dates: April 15 – August 15 and December 15 – March 15
Focal Species: tricolored bat, southeastern myotis
This CWA includes six caves within the Withlacoochee State Forest. It is the only CWA currently established for the protection of bats. The Withlacoochee Caves CWA protects bats in the winter when they hibernate and during the summer when their pups (baby bats) are born. Some caves are fenced or fitted with specialized gates allowing bats to enter and exit while keeping people out. This CWA has two separate closure periods to protect bats during the maternity season and also during hibernation. Access outside the CWA closure periods is by Forest Service permit only.