Texas State Flying Mammal – Mexican Free-Tailed Bat
The Mexican Free-Tailed Bat was adopted as the Texas state flying mammal on May 25, 1995. The largest concentration of these bats in the world are in Bracken Cave in Comal County, less than 20 miles from downtown San Antonio. An estimated 20 million bats roost in the cave from March to October, making it the world’s largest bat colony and one of the largest concentrations of mammals on earth. The legislature said, “the 20 million bats there devour 250 tons of insects; throughout the summer the number of insects including mosquitos and crop pests disposed of is immeasurable; all of this is accomplished without the use of pesticides; and Increasingly, the importance of bats in a healthy ecosystem is being appreciated and protected; this is especially true in Texas.”
Photo by Nickolay Hristov.