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Maryland/DC

Crabtree Cave


Overview
Crabtree Cave is a world that exists without the light of the sun, and is habitat to unusual and unique species that have evolved to survive in the permanent darkness.

Visiting the Preserve
The cave is an ecologically fragile and potentially dangerous environment. The cave is temporarily closed because of concerns about transmission of White Nose Syndrome, a fungal disease that is devastating populations of bats throughout the area.  Thank you for your understanding and help in protecting this important part of Maryland’s natural heritage.

Location
Western Maryland

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
This cave, along with John Friend Cave, are sites that include species of incredible, and fascinating, rarity.

What the Conservancy Is Doing Here
Maintaining bat-friendly cave gate to prevent trampling of invertebrates and disturbance to hibernating bats. 

Plants

  • None — there is no light to feed plants.

Animals

  • All animals that live permanently within the cave, such as the nationally-rare Franz's cave amphipod and Franz's cave isopod (aquatic invertebrates), have lost their sight and pigment.
  • Crabtree Cave is the largest bat hibernaculum in Maryland, and shelters eastern pipistrel, little brown, big brown, and northern long-eared bats.

We’re Accountable

The Nature Conservancy makes careful use of your support.

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