The Jornada Bat Caves are located on the northern end of the 358,000-acre Armendaris Ranch, owned by Ted Turner.
A bat kite adorns a ranch building and pays tribute to the fact that this site hosts the state’s largest population of Mexican free-tail bats.
Photo of Jornada Bat Cave taken in 1915 for use in “Economic Geology of the Pedro Armendaris Land Grant in South Central New Mexico” by W.H. Storms.
One of several entrances to Jornada Bat Caves, which are actually long lava tubes.
Armendaris Ranch staff work with University of New Mexico and the Conservancy to plug a “skylight” excavated by miners to provide easier access to bat guano in the lava cave below.
Eight million migratory bats use the Jornada Bat Caves as a stop-over site.
A cloud of bats emerges at dusk to feast on a buffet of bugs. Listen to a KUNR story about this natural phenomenon.
The sun sets over the Armendaris Ranch and its protected bat population.