New preserve in Missouri aims to protect endangered bats

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HANNIBAL, Mo._ A nature preserve planned in the northeast Missouri town of Hannibal will be more than a place to picnic or walk in the woods.

It also will serve as a protected area for about 168,000 federally endangered Indiana bats, which hibernate in a former limestone mine that closed a half-century ago and in surrounding caves.

healthy hibernating Indiana bat

The Sodalis Nature Preserve will be a short distance from the Mississippi River and be of no cost to Mark Twain’s hometown.

Canada-based Enbridge Inc. will pay for the land acquisition, management and maintenance as part of a mitigation fund to offset the impact of an oil pipeline to be built nearby.

The preserve will open to the public after land purchases are complete in January.

Associated Press

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