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Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov [KD]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Feb. 14, 2005

Old Tunnel Bat Volunteers Needed

FREDERICKSBURG, Texas — Central Texans who want to learn more about bats and help teach others about these creatures of the night are being urged to volunteer at Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The former railroad tunnel, now a state Wildlife Management Area, offers evening bat flight viewings for visitors during warmer months.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is now recruiting volunteers to help at the Old Tunnel WMA, located between Fredericksburg and Comfort on Old San Antonio Road.

About three million Mexican free-tailed bats and thousands of Cave myotis bats inhabit the Old Tunnel WMA.

Volunteers can choose from a variety of activities to help with, such as teaching visitors about bats, giving presentations about the history of the Old Tunnel, helping with merchandise sales, or just helping to keep the trails and public areas looking nice. Volunteers can also participate in plant and animal surveys, build trails, or work in local schools to teach children about the interesting life history of bats.

The Volunteer Program is open to those of all ages and skill levels. Current volunteers range in age from 5-75 and training is provided. Volunteers can commit to helping as much or as little as they want. Some volunteer as individuals, while others volunteer as a family. A wide variety of volunteer activities are available for kids and adults, and specialized training is provided for both.

If you are interested in joining the fun and the growing Old Tunnel Volunteer Program, you are encouraged to attend the upcoming Volunteer Training Feb. 25-27 in Mason. During a relaxing and informative weekend, you will learn about bats, how to teach people about bats, and much more!

In addition to nightly bat-viewing, educational presentations are offered Thursday through Sunday from May 1 through Oct. 31.

For more information about volunteering and to sign up for the volunteer training program, please contact Amy Sugeno at Old Tunnel WMA at (830) 990-2659.

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