Archive for April 20th, 2015

Wildlife: Return of the Bats

Monday, April 20th, 2015
Mexican free-tailed bats emerging from Devil's Sinkhole.

Mexican free-tailed bats emerging from Devil’s Sinkhole.

This is Passport to Texas

Millions of Mexican Free-tailed bats are returning to Texas where they will bear their young and eat tons of pesky insects. And that makes farmers happy.

05—The Mexican free-tailed bat in particular is really valuable for agricultural purposes.

Meg Goodman is a bat biologist.

13—Current research has shown that these bats can save farmers up to two sprays of pesticides per year because of all the insect pests that they’re eating. They’re eating things like the corn earworm moth and the cotton boll worm moth, among other crop pest species.

In addition to eating their weight in insects pests each evening, their nightly flights from inside caves and under bridges has become tourist attractions statewide.

14—Just their numbers and nightly emergences bring in a lot of tourist dollars to a lot of small communities and big communities like Austin. It’s one of our top tourist destinations right here in Austin. But they do provide a lot of dollars through nature tourism through a lot of our smaller communities throughout the state.

Bridges, like the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, boasts more than 1.5 million visiting Mexican free-tailed. And tomorrow we meet a man who builds bridges with bats in mind.

07—I would say that they type of bridges we build that would accommodate bats, we probably build about 30 of those statewide every year.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series and funds diverse conservation projects in Texas.

Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.