793,000. 17 different species of bats live in the cave.
Bats are perhaps the best-known residents of Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. The colony of Mexican free-tailed bats is believed to have roosted there for more than 5,000 years. The population varies seasonally, and can be altered from conditions related to rainfall, food or the natural life cycle of the animals. Currently, the estimated number is one million creatures, which is a drastic fall from the once-projected number of 12 million. This dramatic decrease is thought to be caused by the use of inescticides; currently, the park has an ‘Adopt-a-Bat’ program, with aims of restoring the population by generating public interest.
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