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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2006-03-17                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
March 17, 2006
Dry Conditions Could Affect Spring Turkey Hunting
AUSTIN, Texas -- Despite dry conditions across Texas, prospects for this year's spring turkey season remain promising, thanks to a carryover of mature gobblers, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists.
Rio Grande spring turkey hunting season opens April 1 and runs through May 14 in 153 counties. The spring eastern turkey season is open in 42 East Texas counties from April 1-30. Special youth-only weekends are set for March 25-26 and May 20-21.
"We have a decent carryover from previous years, which means there should be some older birds out there," said T. Wayne Schwertner, TPWD turkey program leader. "Despite dry conditions across most of the state, I'm not concerned about the overall health of our turkey populations going into the spring hunting season. We had a fairly warm winter so the birds have not been stressed from a temperature standpoint."
What hunters could see this spring are lean birds due to a lack of food supplies as habitat conditions continue to deteriorate from lack of rainfall. "The drought is not resulting in serious adult mortality, but turkeys are not going to be rolling butterball fat, either," Schwertner noted.
Statewide regulations allow the use of shotgun, rifle, handgun, legal archery equipment, or crossbow to take Rio Grande turkey; however, individual landowners and public hunting areas may further restrict the devices to be used. The bag limit for Rio Grande turkey is four turkeys per license year. Regulations and bag limits vary by county, so check the county specific rules where you are hunting. Only gobblers are allowed to be harvested during the spring hunting season. Consult the 2005-06 Outdoor Annual for season dates and bag limits in your area.
Eastern turkey hunting is limited to shotgun, lawful archery equipment or crossbow, with a one-gobbler bag limit. All harvested eastern turkeys must be taken to a check station within 24 hours. To find the check station nearest you, contact a TPWD field office or call (800) 792-1112.
Hunters in East Texas hoping to try their skills in some of the national forest lands in should note some areas may still be inaccessible due to debris from Hurricane Rita, which could create challenges and opportunities for hunters as birds find new haunts.
"Hunting will be tricky with the dry conditions and just accessing the woods right now will be challenging," said Gary Calkins, TPWD district wildlife biologist in Jasper. "Some of the areas are going to be miserable, like on the Angelina (Neches/Dam B Wildlife Management Area). The Big Thicket took a lot of damage; there weren't a lot of birds up there except on the fringes to begin with. The Sam Houston did not take much damage and they've got a lot of birds up there."
Calkins cited reports indicating some shifting of birds in the aftermath of the storm. "Some areas in the southern end of the Pineywoods have definitely seen some shifts from traditional areas and birds may be using marginal habitat because of the loss. We didn't have much of an acorn crop to begin with and the storm put a hurt on turkeys.
"Overall, other than the access issue, hunting is going to be pretty good," he predicted. "The birds are big and healthy so the drought has not affected their health and that's a bright side. I don't feel like we're at risk of losing birds."
Hunters are urged to contact the U.S. Forest Service's district ranger office for each National Forest or Grassland before heading afield. Here is the contact information:
--Sabine Ranger District (409) 787-3870
--Angelina Ranger District (936) 897-1068
--Davy Crockett Ranger District (936) 655-2299
--Sam Houston Ranger District (936) 344-6205
If you intend to hunt in the national forestlands, a TPWD Annual Public Hunting Permit (available for $48 wherever hunting licenses are sold) is needed and provides access to several hundred thousand acres of public hunting lands in East Texas.
Last year marked the first full month spring season for eastern wild turkeys in Texas, but according to TPWD district biologist David Sierra in Tyler, a majority of the harvest still occurred during the first part of the month. "It's like deer season, no matter how long you make it, most of the harvest still takes place early on."
What that means for serious hunters is less pressure on the birds after the opening week. Sierra said hunters looking for opportunity should try the Caddo National Grasslands or explore standby hunting on one of the department's wildlife management area drawn hunts, like at Pat Mayes WMA.
As to prospects in his district, which covers the Post Oak Savannah ecoregion of East Texas, Sierra expects there will be fewer jakes available due to poor hatches last year, but still plenty of "uneducated" 2-year-old gobblers to call up.
"We had a good mast crop here and there so birds that ranged could find enough food to carry them over," he noted. "Body conditions should be in good shape overall.
Hunters are reminded that a Texas Upland Game Bird Hunting Stamp is required in addition to a valid Texas hunting license. The stamp endorsement is included in the Super Combo and Lifetime Hunting license packages. Non-residents who purchase the Non-resident Spring Turkey License are exempt from this stamp endorsement requirement.
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov ] [TH]
March 17, 2006
Great Texas Birding Classic Marks 10 Years of Conservation
LAKE JACKSON, Texas -- The world's longest bird watching competition turns 10 years old this April. In the past decade, the Great Texas Birding Classic has raised close to a half million dollars to conserve wildlife habitat on the Texas coast, protecting critical stopover spots for songbirds that migrate between the Americas.
In the first nine years, winning teams have donated $453,000 in prize money to "on the ground" conservation in Texas. When the 2006 awards brunch is held in late April, total prize money will top the half million mark.
Each spring, the Classic draws hundreds of birding competitors from across North America. Thousands of birding tourists also come to experience the phenomenon of spring migration at companion events held along the coast.
The event's impact extends far beyond Texas, because the Lone Star coastline is important stopover habitat for birds that continue up the Central, Mississippi and Atlantic flyways. These include many neotropical migratory songbirds, among the nation's most colorful and popular species, which migrate huge distances between South and Central America (the neotropics) and North America. Many of these birds are believed to be declining, and many experts suspect habitat loss to human development is a key factor.
"There has been a long term, steady decline in many bird species that pass through or reside some part of the year in Texas" said John Arvin, research coordinator at the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, which partners with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to run the Classic. "Anything that helps birds and slows that process is a good thing."
The Classic illustrates the connection between wildlife and habitat.
"Most people correctly assume good birders can identify many different kinds of birds by their calls or physical attributes," said Shelly Plante, TPWD nature tourism coordinator. "But to excel in a competition like this you have to know where to find them. Some birds are in coastal marshes, others on the beach, on prairies, in woods. Habitat diversity is the key to species diversity. Texas has a huge range of habitat types, and that's why birders come here."
The Classic pairs teams of birders with corporate sponsors to raise conservation money, and it has evolved over the years to become several different tournaments.
The continent's most committed birders compete in the weeklong tournament for five days nonstop along the entire Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, running April 25-29 this year.
There are also three sectional tournaments where teams focus on one section of the Texas coast for 24 hours, starting this year on the central coast (April 22), then moving to the upper coast (April 26), before concluding on the lower coast (April 29). College Challenge teams (competing for a $1,000 prize for the first time this year), Roughwings (age 13 and younger) and Gliders (14-to-18 year olds) can compete alongside adult and senior teams in each sectional tournament.
The Big Sit! Tournament (April 23) was created to see who can count the most birds in one location, with each team choosing its preferred spot.
The Outta-Sight Song Birder Tournament was created for blind and visually impaired birders to compete by identifying birds by birdsong. This can take place in any coastal section for 12 hours on April 23. Teams must have one sighted driver and record keeper, but they may not assist with bird location or identification.
The Migration Challenge was created especially for teams of people who live outside Texas, offering special prizes for the Weeklong Tournament and for the highest single day count for all Sectional Tournaments.
Team registration days (good places for news media to hook up with participants) are from 6-8 p.m. on three separate days: April 19 for the Upper Coast at the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory in Lake Jackson, April 20 for the central coast at the Quality Inn & Suites in Corpus Christi, and April 21 for the lower coast at La Plaza Hotel in McAllen.
Winners will be announced at the awards brunch, taking place from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. April 30 in McAllen at Quinta Mazatlan. The 1930's Colonial Revival style mansion, with its 15 acres of lush birding grounds, is reopening this year as one of nine sites in the World Birding Center complex in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Several people who helped launch the Classic 10 years ago will be special guests at the awards brunch. Madge Lindsay, John Herron and Ted Eubanks were instrumental in creating the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail as well as the Classic.
Complete information about the Classic is on the Web sites of the two host organizations. Or, phone the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory at (979) 480-0999.
Below is a short summery of habitat projects funded in the past nine years through the Great Texas Birding Classic Conservation Cash Grand Prizes and the Lone Star Bird Award, with total dollar amounts shown for habitat acquisition, enhancement, restoration and monitoring categories.
Habitat Acquisition -- $269,666
--Columbia Bottomlands Forest Acquisition Project (Gulf Coast Bird Observatory in partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Trust For Public Land) -- $15,000 in 2001 and $12,000 in 2002 toward purchase of the only significant expanse of forest in Texas adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico.
--Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary Addition (Houston Audubon Society) -- $22,500 in 1998 and $25,000 in 2000 toward the purchase of 178-acre tract adjacent to Bolivar Flats Shorebird sanctuary.
--Harlingen Bird Sanctuary (RGV Birding Festival, Valley Land Fund, USFWS, City of Harlingen, Harlingen Chamber of Commerce) -- $5,000 in 1998 towards the purchase of 40 acre, native thornbrush and riparian habitat along the Arroyo Colorado in downtown Harlingen.
--The John M. O'Quinn I-45 Estuarial Corridor Acquisition & Restoration (Scenic Galveston, Inc.) -- $16,666 toward the purchase of 900 acres of intertidal, emergent coastal wetland and the restoration of 40 badly degraded acres in 1997.
--Packery Channel Sanctuary Acquisition (Audubon Outdoor Club of Corpus Christi in partnership with Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi) -- $10,000 in 2000, $25,000 in 2001, $23,000 in 2002, $3,000 in 2003 and $20,000 in 2004 used to purchase undeveloped lots and create an island of green through this residential area on Padre Island.
--Paradise Pond Sanctuary Acquisition (Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, Audubon Outdoor Club, City of Port Aransas, Central and South West Services, Inc.) -- $25,000 in 1999 to purchase 7.83 acre tract, including a two acre freshwater depressional wetland, the only on the island.
--Port Bolivar Wetlands Restoration Project (Houston Audubon Society) -- $20,000 in 2003 towards the purchase of a 650-acre wetland complex on the Bolivar Peninsula known as the Horseshoe Marsh which will protect the entire drainage system of lagoon, salt water marsh, fresh water wetlands and coastal prairie.
--Quintana Island Habitat Acquisition and Restoration (Gulf Coast Bird Observatory in partnership with the Brazosport Birders and Naturalists) -- $15,000 in 2000 and $10,000 in 2001 to be used for site survey, appraisal and acquisition of native habitat on Quintana Island, as well as restoration and revegetation of purchased property.
--South Padre Island Habitat Protection and Restoration (Valley Land Fund, Rio Grande Valley Bird Observatory, Valley Nature Center, South Padre Island Nature Center) -- $22,500 in 1998 to purchase undeveloped woodlots on South Padre Island, important stop over sites for trans-gulf migrants.
Habitat Enhancement -- $98,666
--Created Wetland at the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory (Gulf Coast Bird Observatory) -- $15,000 in 2003 to help fund the creation of a bog pond providing habitat for high-priority species and construct public viewing spaces so that the public may enjoy seeing these species.
--Fred Jones Sanctuary Enhancement (Audubon Outdoor Club of Corpus Christi) -- $3,000 in 2005 for constructing a viewing blind and repairing existing structures.
--Habitat Protection for Carolyn Raizes Davis Bird Sanctuary (Houston Audubon) -- $12,000 in 2005 for fence to protect 63 acres of bottomland hardwood forest along Chocolate Bayou.
--Hugh Ramsey Nature Park Habitat Enhancement Project (Arroyo Colorado Audubon Society) -- $3,000 in 2002 and $3,000 in 2003 to be used for plants and signage in the habitat restoration of 5 acres of the Hugh Ramsey Nature Park in Harlingen.
--The John M. O'Quinn I-45 Estuarial Corridor Acquisition & Restoration (Scenic Galveston, Inc.) -- $20,000 in 2005 toward the Bird Observation Tower and Education Platform Project.
--Photogenic Water Features at Estero Llano Grande State Park (World Birding Center) -- $3,000 in 2004 to be used in the building of photogenic water features.
--Quintana Island Habitat Enhancement (Gulf Coast Bird Observatory) -- $9,000 in 2004 to revegetate previous land acquisitions with mature native trees and understory vegetation as well as create one or more freshwater ponds. $3,000 in 2005 for continuation of woodlot restoration project.
--South Padre Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary Enhancement (The Valley Land Fund) -- $9,000 in 2005 and $1,000 in 2004 for a drip fed shallow water feature, additional native vegetation, a viewing blind, and a boardwalk.
--Valley Nature Center Wetlands Restoration Project (Valley Nature Center) -- $1,000 in 2003 to be used for site enhancements (signage) at the center.
--Wings over Weslaco (Frontera Audubon Society) -- $16,666 in 1997 for construction of a viewing blind on the Fontera Audubon society sanctuary.
Habitat Restoration -- $58,000
--Blucher Audubon Center Migrant Songbird Habitat Restoration (Audubon Texas) -- $3,000 in 2004 used for the purchase of pond supplies, native plants and interpretive signs and plant labels.
--Dickinson Bay Bird Island Restoration (Galveston Bay Foundation) -- $12,000 in 2004 to replace one of three islands that has eroded from Dickinson Bay and restore the habitat associated with it.
--Dickinson Bay Seawall Prairie Restoration Project (The Nature Conservancy) -- $9,000 in 2002 to restore approximately 50 acres of native coastal tallgrass prairie through removal/control of Chinese Tallow.
--Estero Llano Grande State Park Wetland Habitat Restoration (Estero Llano Grande State Park) -- $3,000 in 2005 for purchasing Montezuma Bald Cypress trees for planting as part of a 20-acre wetland restoration project.
--Invasive Exotic Removal from High Island Sanctuaries (Houston Audubon Society) -- $3,000 in 2002 for the removal of Chinese Tallow trees from coastal prairie habitats in Boy Scout Woods and Smith Oaks.
--Native Coastal Prairie Restoration at Anahuac NWR (USFWS/Anahuac NWR) -- $15,000 in 1999 and $9,000 in 2003 to remove and control exotic plants such as Chinese Tallow, and to restore the ecological function of the area as coastal tall grass prairie through the reintroduction of native prairie grass seed on abandoned rice fields.
--Packery Channel Sanctuary Restoration (Audubon Outdoor Club of Corpus Christi) -- $1,000 in 2005 to be used for native plant purchases for habitat restoration.
--Texas Point National Wildlife Refuge Woodlot Restoration (McFaddin and Texas Point Refuge Alliance, Inc.) -- $3,000 in 2004 which includes the planting of quickgrowing and longterm native tree seedlings for a bird food source.
Habitat Monitoring -- $26,666
--Colonial Waterbird Sanctuaries Project (Texas Audubon Society) -- $16,666 in 1997 for long term avian monitoring project conducted by Texas Audubon on 31 barrier islands.
--Partners in Flight Migration Monitoring Program: Tracking Landbird Migration in Texas and Beyond (Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, Southeast Partners in Flight, Department of Defense, USFWS) -- $10,000 in 1999 for ongoing monitoring of high priority migratory birds.
---
On the Net:
http://www.gcbo.org/gtbc.html
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/gtbc/
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ ]
March 17, 2006
Original Artwork in Online Auction To Benefit Bird Habitat
LAKE JACKSON, Texas -- The online auction to raise funds for habitat grants awarded through the Great Texas Birding Classic is open through April 28.
An original watercolor of Black Skimmers was created by John O'Neill to be the artwork for the 10th Annual Great Texas Birding Classic. This painting is just one of the items available for bidding.
Original artwork by other Texas artists, optics, and nature related items are some of the other items available for bidding.
The Birding Classic is a competitive bird watching tournament created to raise awareness of the diversity of habitat and resulting multiplicity of bird species that exist along the Texas Gulf coast. This tournament, called the longest and wildest birding event in North America by organizers, is coordinated jointly by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory.
"The Birding Classic is one way anyone and everyone can contribute to conservation efforts," said Carol Jones, tournament coordinator. "The National Audubon Society reported that almost 30 percent of North America's bird species are in 'significant decline.' This year is the tenth anniversary and we will celebrate raising and donating a cumulative total of half a million dollars for habitat conservation over the past decade at the awards brunch on April 30."
Jones said people don't have to be a birder to help; anyone can make a donation or bid on one of the items on the online auction.
"Over the years, essentially every Texas coastal community, most optics companies, several major oil, gas, chemical and energy companies, and hundreds of birders have participated in this event," said Cecilia Riley, Gulf Coast Bird Observatory executive director. "Their support has made the Birding Classic a huge environmental success and an economic asset for the Lone Star State."
The online portion of the auction will conclude at noon, Friday, April 28. Final bidding will take place either by phone (for online bidders) or in person at the awards brunch on April 30.
The Gulf Coast Bird Observatory is a 501(c) 3 organization dedicated to conserving coastal habitat for birds through science and international partnerships.
---
On the Net:
http://www.gcbo.org/auction.html
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Bill McCann, LCRA ]
March 17, 2006
Groups Team To Stock 300,000 Striped Bass in Lake Buchanan
BURNET, Texas -- Several resource agencies, a local conservation group and Burnet County have teamed to ensure Lake Buchanan receives a healthy stocking of striped bass this spring.
The fish stocking is good news for many people who enjoy fishing for the popular species in Lake Buchanan, the uppermost of the Highland lakes created by damming the Texas Colorado River. It also is good news for local businesses that enjoy the economic benefit of lake visitors.
Since striped bass do not reproduce naturally in most Texas lakes, the fish are stocked annually by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) in reservoirs throughout the state.
Production of fingerling striped bass has been reduced since 2000 due to the presence of toxic golden algae in TPWD's fish hatcheries. Thus, there have been fewer fish available for stocking throughout Texas. Lake Buchanan did not receive any striped bass in 2001, although the lake did receive annual stockings in 2002 through 2005.
Members of the recently formed Lake Buchanan Conservation Corporation asked LCRA and Burnet County commissioners for help to expand the striper fishery in Lake Buchanan.
As a result, both entities intend to contract with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery to produce about 150,000 fingerling striped bass. These fish will augment the 150,000 fish that TPWD plans to stock later this spring in Lake Buchanan.
The 300,000 striped bass should provide abundant fishing opportunities in future years. It takes about four years for stocked fish to reach legal size of 18 inches.
Under a tentative agreement reached by the participants, TPWD will provide striped bass "fry" to the Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery where the fish will be grown over a five to six-week period until they are about 1.5-2 inches.
At that point, these "fingerling" fish will be transported and stocked in Lake Buchanan. Burnet County is providing $10,000 and LCRA is providing $5,000 as their share of the project.
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov ] [TH]
March 17, 2006
Leave That Wild Animal Alone, Experts Advise
AUSTIN, Texas -- With spring come young, wild animals venturing from their nests and hiding places under the watchful eyes of their parents. Young animals often stray and appear to be abandoned; that's when humans need to resist the urge to help, wildlife experts say.
Some species, including birds, deer and snakes, are very active this time of year and are being seen more frequently.
This is the time of year that young birds are out of their nests but cannot fly. If the bird's eyes are open, it has a coat of feathers and is hopping around, it is probably fine, according to staff at Texas Parks and Wildlife's wildlife information center. Grounded fledglings will usually be up and flying within a few days.
"Many people discover apparently lost or abandoned wildlife young and take them in, thinking they are doing the right thing, and this sometimes does more harm than good," said Mark Klym of the Wildlife Diversity branch at TPWD. "People should leave young animals alone unless they are obviously injured or orphaned. It is best to observe a wild creature from a distance for a while in order to make that determination."
Staying too close to the baby may keep mamma from returning, Klym said.
The fawning season begins in early to mid-May, although the newborns may not be visible to the casual observer for several weeks because of excellent camouflage of their mottled coats and their mother's care in hiding them from predators.
Deer will typically leave their fawn(s) for hours at a time, returning only to nurse them. Fawns are often discovered lying quietly in tall grass or brushy areas. Well-meaning people sometimes pick up these fawns, thinking that they have been abandoned by their mothers and need help. This is rarely the case.
A fawn should only be picked up if it is covered in fire ants or is otherwise seriously injured. These fawns need assistance and should be taken to a wildlife rehabilitator immediately.
If it is determined that a wild animal is sick or injured call the TPWD wildlife information line, (512) 389-4505, during business hours for a referral to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
After-hours callers can get the names of rehabilitators from TPWD's dispatch line at (512) 389-4848 or by accessing the department's web site.
During the spring, the department receives more than 100 calls a week about baby wildlife.
"Some of the most common questions are whether the fawns are actually abandoned and if baby birds can take care of themselves on the ground," Klym said. "In most cases, the fawns' mothers are just out of sight and the baby birds are still being protected and fed by the parents."
"The overall message is that wildlife should be left alone," said Klym. "Wild animals are best left in the wild."
---
On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/nature/research/rehab/
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov ] [TH]
March 17, 2006
Scientists Offer Tips for Dealing With Bats
AUSTIN, Texas -- Millions of Mexican free-tailed bats are returning to Texas from their winter homes in Mexico, and while research is revealing an increasing number of bat benefits, scientists say there are some common-sense steps schools, businesses and homeowners can take to coexist peacefully with bat visitors.
The bats return to the southwestern U.S. each year where they will spend the summer raising their young. Each mother gives birth to a single baby called a pup. At the first signs of cold weather in the fall, they will begin returning to warmer Mexico.
Research has shown Mexican free-tailed bats gobble up moths that lay eggs on crops, eggs that develop into larvae that eat cotton, corn, and other important agricultural plants. University researchers have documented that this can save farmers significant dollars in avoided crop losses and decrease the need for pesticides.
"While we are happy to see the bats arrive in Texas each year, they sometimes take up residence in places where they are unwelcome," said Barbara French, conservation officer with the nonprofit Bat Conservation International.
"A few bats in an attic are not likely to be a problem, but bats should not be allowed to enter interior living or working quarters. When necessary, bats can be safely evicted from buildings using proper bat exclusion methods. Openings used by bats to exit the building can be fitted with a valve, generally a simple smooth tube or netting through which bats are able to exit but not re-enter the building. Valves should be left in place for one week to make certain all bats have gotten out, and then openings can be permanently sealed shut," French said.
Proper bat exclusion techniques protect both people and the bats. For more information about proper bat exclusion techniques, see the Bat Conservation International Web site, click on "projects" and then "bats in buildings."
"If you want to keep these voracious insect predators around, you can install a bat house near the place they are living before evicting them," said Meg Goodman, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department bat biologist. "When the bats are unable to get back into the building, they will have an alternative roost."
Building bat houses is a great project for schools and Scout troops, Goodman said. Wood shop classes can get involved and once the bat house is installed, classes can observe the bats and monitor their own bat colony. For more information about bat houses, visit BCI's Web site under "projects" then "bat houses."
While it is true that some animals, including bats, contract rabies, Goodman said people should keep this in perspective. She said less than one half of one percent of bats in natural populations get rabies.
"But always be safe," Goodman emphasized. "Do not handle bats, and educate children about the dangers of approaching any wild animal."
Mexican free-tailed bats form large colonies in bridges and caves throughout the southwest and make spectacular nightly emergences in the summer.
Texans are proud of their unique bat colonies. For more information about when and where to see bat emergences, visit the BCI Web site under "Discover" then "Texas Viewing" or see the TPWD Web site Nature pages.
Property owners or managers, schoolteachers and others may contact Barbara French at french@batcon.org or (512) 327-9721 or Meg Goodman at meg.goodman@tpwd.texas.gov or (512) 912-7042.
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On the Net:
http://www.batcon.org/
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