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Summer Intern Visits Foushee Cave

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We are very happy to have Alix Matthews (above left) with us for a summer internship! To supplement her biology and environmental science studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, she’s been getting hands-on experience mounting plant specimens for ANHC’s herbarium. She recently accompanied ANHC’s Theo Witsell and Bryan Rupar to the Foushee Cave conservation site in Independence County (above right). Their field inventory work documented a population of Arkansas alumroot (Heuchera villosa var. arkansana), an endemic plant of conservation concern.

The Foushee Cave conservation site includes one of the most biologically significant caves in Arkansas. It supports 10 rare species, including the federally endangered gray bat (Myotis grisescens) and Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), as well as the Foushee Cave snail (Amnicola cora), which only occurs in this cave system.

An acquisition proposal for this site was presented and approved at the ANHC commission meeting on August 9, 2011. Our goal is to add this site to Arkansas’s System of Natural Areas, to protect and maintain Foushee Cave, its direct recharge zone, and the associated forest communities that represent the White River Hills region of the Ozark Mountains.



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