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Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge




Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge
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General Information

Description - Fern Cave NWR is located two miles north of Paint Rock, Alabama. The Refuge borders Paint Rock River on the south and consists of upland hardwoods and limestone rock out crops.


The cave has five hidden entrances and is critical habitat for endangered gray and Indiana bats. Over a million gray bats hibernate in Fern Cave, as do several hundred endangered Indiana bats. Fern Cave also has the threatened American hart's tongue fern at one of its entrances.

Recreation - Due to the sensitive nature of the bats and the vulnerability of the fern, public use opportunities are limited. Fern Cave itself accessible by specialize permit only, due to the potential for disturbance of federally endangered Indiana and gray bats and threatened American Harts-tongue fern.
Hiking, wildlife observation, and wildlife photography are all activities
that are available to the public.

Climate - The climate of Alabama's lowlands can be described as subtropical with nearly 60 inches of rain each year. The highest amount of rain reaches the region as afternoon thunderstorms in July, August and September. Summers are extremely hot and humid with temperatures frequently reaching above 100 degrees F. Summer nights cool slightly and provide a good time to travel through the region.

Winter temperatures are mild, rarely dipping below 40 degrees with the humidity level at its lowest in November and December. Spring and fall are very pleasant times to visit the region. Spring brings mild temperatures and blooming trees and flowers. During the fall temperatures range from 65 to 85 degrees F with low humidity levels. Northern Alabama is generally cooler than the south due to its higher elevations.

Location - 20 miles west of Scottsboro and 2 miles north of Paintrock in Jackson County.


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More Information

Contact Information:
Fern Cave NWR, 2700 Refuge Hq Road , Decatur, AL, 35603, Phone: 205-353-7243, Fax: 205-340-9728
, r4rw_al.wlr@fws.gov

Additional Information:
Alabama Wildlife Refuges -
North Alabama - North Alabama includes the northern third of the state, from Birmingham, north. This region offers waterfalls, fish-filled rivers and lakes, rapids suited for rafting and caves to explore.

Links:
Fern Cave NWR - Official agency website

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