When it comes to land management and keeping wildlife habitats safe and clean, it's not just what's above ground that matters. In Illinois, a subterranean nature preserve is being maintained in a partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a non-profit that tries to keep the land and wildlife healthy. Underneath this patch of land is the Fogelpole cave system. It's the longest cave system in the state and is being impacted by invasive species of plants that are not native and not good food sources for animals that are at risk. Removing this threat to the habitat is complicated.
Three species of bats that are at risk call the cave system home. The bats are beneficial because they keep the insect population in check. Managing the environmental impact of restoring the land while trying not to further decimate these species is a delicate balance of land management, environmental responsibility and conservation. Restoring more beneficial plants to the land, will hopefully allow the bat population to rebound.