Purpose Caves Mines Wildlife Publications  

Underground mines and caves often offer unique conditions such as stable year-round temperatures and humidity. This results in unique ecosystems that are ideal for specific species of wildlife. Some animals only use underground sites seasonally, but others have evolved and specialized for permanent subterranian habitation. Following are a variety of animals that use underground sites.

Subteranean Wildlife



Roost of Townsends Long-eared Bat (Corynorhinus townsendii)

Trout Cave


Mine Tunnels

Barn Owl

In desert habitat Barn Owls (Tyto alba) often nest at the bottom of mine shafts


Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) often use desert mine adits to lay their speckled eggs

Townsends Long-eared Bats


Mine Tunnels


Some mines contain water pools that are visited by Cougars (Puma concolor)



Also known as Javalina, Peccary (Tayassuidae tajacu) will use caves as nesting sites

Townsends Long-eared Bats


Mine Tunnels

Desert Tortoise

Caves and mines offer shelter with stable conditions for the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus morafkai)


Tiger Salamander

Damp sections of caves and mines are excellent habitat for Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum)

Townsends Long-eared Bats


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