Giving bats a second chance
Located in the bat capital of North America, Austin Bat Refuge (ABR) is a rehabilitation center where bats found in the Central Texas and Houston areas are nursed, weaned and released back into the wild. The bat refuge center provides a vital service to the community which includes conflict resolution and education.
"Finding a way to live in harmony with nature is always our first priority. So, if we need bats to move, careful planning is essential." ABR frequently acts on behalf of the bats to advocate for bat exclusion, and relocation assistance, further ensuring the safety of these animals. Unwanted bat colonies can be a serious problem for some structures (i.e., buildings, bridges, tunnels, etc.) which can quickly escalate conflicts between humans and bats. ABR advocates for proper exclusion planning to safely remove the colony and ensure that bats will not have access to return and roost. In most cases, one-way exits are created of PVC pipe or modified caulk tubes, so that a bat’s only option is to exit through the tube, which will not allow for re-entry.
Austin Bat Refuge provides educational lectures and presentations available to all at affordable rates. ABR’s talks can include, “live local bats...a close-focus video camera to show the features of the tiny native bat species up close and personal.”
During the fall season of 2017, ABR has been invtied to over 30 talks and lectures which include notable events such as:
- Austin Cave Festival
- Wildlife Society — Texas State Chapter
- The Texas Wildlife Association (TWA)
- Austin Nature Center Teacher Development Training
These small winged mammals play a critical role in the ecosystem that surrounds us. There are hundreds of species of bats and each mammal has its benefits — some bats eat insects and pests that can destroy crops saving farmers more than a million dollars a year. Bat Conservation International notes,"Research has revealed that Mexican free-tailed bats in South Central Texas save farmers up to $1.7 million per year due to their consumption of destructive agricultural pests."
Bats are hard at work securing and stabilizing our ecosystem. The Mexican long-nose bat, native to southern parts of Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona, feeds on the nectar of certain fruits that only bloom at night. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Mexican long-nose bat, which is a part of a larger colony can, "visit up to 30 flowers each night, feeding and transporting pollen."
These nocturnal creatures play a big part in our everyday lives and it is believed that "bats are critical pollinators, pest controllers and seed distributors. Their presence and activities benefit many aspects of humanity’s existence"
ABR’s team consists of professionals who are backed by 20-plus years of experience in housing, rehoming and healing bat’s and their winged-family members.
For more information about Austin Bat Refuge and it’s conservation and refuge efforts, visit them here: austinbatrefuge.org