Favorite Informational Email from UT each year: Bats on Campus

It reads:

Environmental Health and Safety and the Office of the Vice President for University Operations want to remind you that Austin has a significant bat population. Bats are considered a high-rabies risk species and should never be touched.  

If you find a live or dead bat in a building or a live bat outside that cannot fly, please call Environmental Health & Safety’s Animal Make Safe program at 471-BATS (2287).

Please remember to shut all windows and doors especially in the evening to help keep bats and other animals from getting into buildings.

I remember the first year at UT when I received this.  It freaked me out so much that I memorized the, thankfully, easy-to-memorize number.  So far, I have yet to see a bat in my campus office.

In case you don’t know about Austin and our bats:

Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge is home to the world’s largest urban bat colony, which is composed of Mexican Free-tailed Bats. The bats reside beneath the road deck in gaps between the concrete component structures. They are migratory, spending their summers in Austin and the winters in Mexico. According to Bat Conservation International[1], between 750,000 and 1.5 million bats reside underneath the bridge each summer. Since Austin’s human population is about 750,000, there are more bats than people in Austin during the summer.

The nightly emergence of the bats from underneath the bridge at dusk, and their flight across Lady Bird Lake primarily to the east, to feed themselves, attracts as many as 100,000 tourists annually.[1] Tourists can see the bats from the bridge, from the sides of the river and even from special boats.


One thought on “Favorite Informational Email from UT each year: Bats on Campus

  1. I remember the first time I encountered actual live bats. I was a freshman at the University of Oregon and one evening was watching out my dorm window at the swarms of birds flying about over the track stadium. As it turns out, the birds were bats. Also? I was not such a fan of the idea of bats and promptly closed my window and might have screamed.

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