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  • The world’s largest urban bat colony is situated under the Congress Avenue Bridge in North America
  • Despite the popularity of the bats in Austin, bats are among those creatures of the world which is least appreciated and one of the most endangered animals
  • The Bat Conservation International (BCI) educated the citizens, they realized this was an exceptional thing to have in the community

North America, Sep 14, 2016: Every evening from October to April, people gather to see the world’s largest urban bat colony situated under the Congress Avenue Bridge in North America. More than a million Mexican free-tailed bats are fun to watch, as they fly out from the bridge in search of food and water.

In the 1980s, the engineers constructed the Congress Avenue Bridge and the crevices located beneath the bridge made it ideal for bat roost. They like to live in limestone, caves, and cracks so it was quite appropriate for them. The Mexican free-tailed bats migrate each spring from Mexico and Central America, while the females like to live under the bridges with their babies or pups. Their babies or pups, when born, weighs around one-third as much as their mothers, which is equivalent to that of a human giving birth to a child of 40 pounds.


The Mexican free-tailed bats migrate each spring from Mexico and Central America, while the females like to live under the bridges with their babies or pups. Their babies or pups, when born, weighs around one-third as much as their mothers, which is equivalent to that of a human giving birth to a child of 40 pounds.

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There was lots of anxiety among people when they initially see these creatures swarming out and often most of them react in fear and ignorance. As the Bat Conservation International (BCI) educated the citizens, they realized this was an exceptional thing to have in the community. It was exceptional because these creatures in their nightly dinner hunt eat up around 900 kilograms of insects which otherwise might have harmed the trees and crops.

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The Austin city has started to appreciate these creatures, which are gentle and incredibly sophisticated animals, unlike their appearances that tend to scare the humans out. The Congress Avenue Bridge became the largest urban bat colony in North America with a population of 1.5 million bats. The bats spiraling into the skies during summer are now one of the most unusual and fascinating sights for tourist attractions. It is estimated that more than thousands of people visit the bridge to witness the unusual scene, generating millions of dollars in the tourism revenue annually.

The bats spiraling into the skies during summer are now one of the most unusual and fascinating sights for tourist attractions. It is estimated that more than thousands of people visit the bridge to witness the unusual scene, generating millions of dollars in the tourism revenue annually.

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Despite the popularity of the bats in Austin, bats are among those creatures of the world which are least appreciated and one of the most endangered animals. Bats suffer from habitat loss and other environmental hazards; humans remain a primary cause of the decline of the bats. Bat Conservation International (BCI) tries to protect and promote the Congress Avenue Bridge bat colony. Not much effort is required in the conservation and protection of the bats; they just need the friendly environment and neighbors.

BCI also hopes that the city will keep the annual visitors in mind when planning any major developments along the river, so that Austin continues to grow bat families along with humans.

– by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi


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