Bats just part of wildlife at LC state park
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.
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