Jewel Cave National Monument

Jewel Cave National Monument

Nature & Wildlife in Jewel Cave

Animals

Many animal species make Jewel Cave National Monument their home. Most live in the ponderosa pine forest and open meadows of the surface, but some also live in the cave itself. Over 1,000 bats use Jewel Cave as a winter hibernaculum, and some stay into the summer. Many packrats also ...

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Natural World

Nature & Science Jewel Cave is the second longest cave in the world. To date, over 140 miles of passages have been explored and surveyed, and airflow studies indicate that most of the cave has yet to be found. Each year, explorers discover and map about two additional miles ...

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Geology

Geology Unlike many other caves, Jewel Cave was not carved by underground rivers. Most of the cave was formed by slowly circulating, acid-rich groundwater. Its unique story begins with the geologic history of the Black Hills. The oldest rocks in South Dakota’s Black Hills are Precambrian-era igneous and metamorphic rocks, which ...

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Plants

Jewel Cave National Monument encompasses 1275 acres of ponderosa pine forest and hosts a rich diversity of native plants. The Monument also contains many introduced non-native plant species. Controlling the spread of invasive exotic species is a primary objective of resource management at Jewel Cave. Wildflowers These are just ...

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