Researchers report finding twice as many bats hibernating in a cave at a national monument in in northwestern New Mexico and they say that may be the result of fewer human visitors.
The Gallup Independent reports that researchers found 180 bats hibernating in Junction Cave at El Malpais National Monument near Grants during a winter count.
That's up from between 80 and 90 in the past.
Monument natural resources branch chief David Hays calls the increase a welcome surprise and he says it looks like closing the cave to the public during winter was a good decision because it meant less disturbance for the bats.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.