Beneficial Bats Killed Throughout Texas in Winter Storms
Just the word "bats" can conjure emotion in humans. I remember being a little girl and being fascinated by bats while some of my preschool counterparts were terrified of them. I know this because I once brought a dead bat inside of a shoebox for show and tell. A day I will never forget. It was "Letter B" day and I thought 'Bat Bone in a Box' was very clever and a way to get some added gold stars. Some of the preschoolers and especially the teacher's aide were not as impressed as I had imagined they would be.
Over the years I've had the opportunity to visit places in Texas where the bats are revered, such as the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin.
Sadly though, Texas has lost a lot of bats since the Texas Winter Storms this past week compounded with the problem of 'white-nose syndrome' that has run rampant in Texas and the U.S. bat populations since the early 2000s. You can read about bats and white-nose syndrome further here.
Although experts agree that it's too early to estimate just how many bats have been killed due to starving and freezing to death during the winter storms, the impact was visually obvious in downtown Houston's famous bat hangout under the Waugh Street Bridge where hundreds of dead bats littered the sidewalk.
Here is a Youtube video from KHOU11 showing just how many bats one known bat population was hit by the storms.
Bats are exceptionally beneficial to the environment and to humans. Yep, even vampire bats. Notice bats did NOT make the list below. Wink.
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