Tourist Caves Introduce Bio Mats to Fend Off White-Nose Syndrome
Mammoth Cave National Park has began using “bio mats” to disinfect the shoes of guests as the enter and leave the cave as part of their post-White-nose syndrome plans after the disease was detected in a Kentucky cave earlier this year. These bio mats consist of “a nylon mat saturated in a Lysol solution comparable to that used in home cleaning”, and act as a last line of defense to kill the fungus.
“all participants in Mammoth Cave National Park cave tours will be required to walk on bio security mats after exiting the Cave.” – Mammoth Cave Visitor Notice
Although Mammoth Cave has been at the forefront of prevention, private tourist caves and mines have also been proactive in combating the spread of White-nose Syndrome.
The Adventure Mining Company, a privately-owned mine in Greenland, Michigan that is home to the third-largest bat colony in the state have been interviewing visitors to determine if they are at risk for transmitting the fungus, and as many as two a week have been asked to change their clothes/shoes. Inspired by Mammoth Cave, they too are planning to implement more stringent prevention measures such as bio mats.