Did You Know That Texas Is Actually Big Bat Country?
Certain images come to mind when I think of Texas and the critters here.
When I think of Texas critters, I actually think of scorpions, armadillos, and maybe feral pigs, or jackrabbits. I never really thought of Texas as the #1 home for bats (in several categories).
I guess I'm a little too influenced by thoughts of the Caprock or other desert-like, mesquite-infested vistas. I thought bats were more for, I guess, moister climates. Maybe it's because I've only really seen flocks of bats in horror movies.
What makes all this information even more ironic is that I used to live in one of the top destinations for bats, Austin. In fact, people often flock to the Congress Avenue Bridge to watch the bats fly out. Doubling up on the irony, I co-own a haunted amusement park there called "Bat City". So yeah, I knew we had bats, but I didn't know we RULED when it came to bats.
Of course, many of us actually associate bats with the roads into Las Vegas due to the book "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas" by Hunter S. Thompson. I guess I need to remind you that our hero didn't only see bats, but manta rays in the sky, so let's not take his word that the area described is "bat country".
Texas is home to big bat populations, the aforementioned biggest population of city bats in Austin, and the largest known colony at Bracken Cave Preserve north of San Antonio. That Bracken Cave colony is estimated at 15 million bats.
Texas Parks and Wildlife actually has an excellent resource for you if you'd like to view or find out more about the Lone Star States bat population.