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Ecology of Hot Springs National Park

Surrounded by mountains and forest, Hot Springs National Park is home to diversity of plants and animals.

Hot Springs National Park is home to a variety of flora and fauna. On the 5,400 acres and 26 miles of trails, visitors often encounter white-tailed deer, American Robins, and perhaps even a few species of special concern, such as the Bald Eagle. While there are no federally endangered or threatened species within Hot Springs National Park, all visitors are encouraged to be aware of the species of special concern found within the Park.

Purple Flower at Hot Springs National Park
Purple Flower at Hot Springs National Park

Plant species of special concern in Arkansas:

  • Lobed Spleenwort (Asplenium pinnatifidum)
  • Ouachita Blazing-star (Liatris compacta)
  • Hairy-flower Arkansas Bedstraw (Galium arkansanum var. pubiflorum)
  • Graves’ Spleenwort (Asplenium x gravesii)
  • Dwarf Spiderwort (Tradescantia longipes)


Animal species of special concern in Arkansas:

  • Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
  • Ouachita Madtom (Noturus lachneri)
  • Southeastern Myotis bat (Myotis austroriparius): Not only is the Southeastern Myotis bat a species of concern in Arkansas, but also the Northern Long-eared Bat. The biggest threat facing both species is white-nose syndrome, a fungus that has killed nearly 6 million bats in the eastern portion of North America alone. White-nose syndrome is spread in three ways: Bat-to-bat, soil-to-bat, and human-to-bat.


What you can do:

  • Decontaminate your gear with Clorox or Lysol before and after each cave visit.
  • Stay out of caves or mines where bats are known to hibernate during winter months.
  • Honor cave closures.
  • Report dead or dying bats.