A National Natural Landmark
Tumbling Creek Cave was designated a National Natural Landmark by Secretary of the Interior Cecil Andrus in 1981. Among the reasons for the designation was the recognition that this cave contains the most diverse cave fauna known from any American cave located west of the Mississippi River.
Elliott (2007) published a major article on the zoogeography and biodiversity of Missouri caves. Despite over 25 years of additional studies of cave fauna, Tumbling Creek Cave still retains the recognition of having the most diverse cave fauna of any known American cave west of the Mississippi River. Elliott (2007) noted: “Tumbling Creek Cave ranks first in Missouri for species richness (115 species), number of troglobites (12) and site endemism (2.9154), giving it an overall Biodiversity Value of 4,023.25.”
The Biodiversity Value for Tumbling Creek Cave (Elliott 2007) is more than twice that for the second place cave in Missouri.