• Photo by Roxanne Thompson/The Groesbeck Journal
    Sherry Price, who works at Fort Parker State Park, speaks to the Rotary Club of Mexia on the bats that live at the park.
  • Contributed photo by Stefani Slaughter
    This little Mexican freetail bat, found on a brick wall in downtown Mexia in June by Stefani Slaughter, is one of the most common species of bat found in Texas. A large colony emerges from beneath the West Sixth Street Bridge in Austin each night in summer, and the world’s largest colony of bats, about 20 million Mexican freetail bats, lives in Bracken Cave near San Antonio.

Bats just part of wildlife at LC state park

By Roxanne Thompson Staff Writer

Fort Parker State Park, about halfway between Mexia and Groesbeck, has a variety of wildlife, and people often don’t realize that among the wildlife are bats.

“They are an important part of our eco-system,” said Sherry Price, office manager at the Park, who spoke on the bats to the Rotary Club of Mexia. As part of the Park’s staff, she has studied the animals and teaches Park visitors about them.

When a large flock of what appear to be birds comes out at dusk, Price said, they are very likely bats, not birds, since birds look for places to roost by evening. Bats, on the other hand, come out at night to search for food, usually insects.

Bats make chirping sounds, with each species chirping differently from the other. They can often be heard chirping in the reeds around the edge of the lake at Fort Parker from spring to fall. They take shelter in the reeds and also look for insects to eat. The bats stay in groups, especially the smaller, insect-eating bats.

Throughout her speech, Price talked about several of the bat species that live in Texas, but also a few from other places. There are about a thousand different species of bats around the world, 45 in the United States, 32 in Texas, she said. The only places on earth that bats are not found are the desert, polar regions, and the tops of mountains, mainly because there is no food or shelter there, but also because bats don’t like extreme conditions.

Bats at rest hang upside down by their feet. The insect-eating varieties consume great quantities of insects, which makes them valuable for keeping down the number of mosquitoes.

To read more of this story, pick up a copy of Thursday's edition of The Groesbeck Journal! You can also subscribe online or call 254-729-5103.

Groesbeck Journal

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Groesbeck, TX 76642
Phone: 254-729-5103
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