Tucson’s Annual Bat Night Saturday night September 12, 2009 **
Come see thousands of Mexican Free Tail bats
Fly out from under Campbell Ave Bridge
You and your family can go batty (pun intended) with us. See the largest migratory flying collection of Mexican Free Tail bats in Tucson
Time: 5: 30 PM
Location: Campbell avenue bridge in the riverbed near River Road/Campbell.
Park : south of Campbell Avenue and River Road Park on the north side of the river. or in St Philip’s Plaza or at the Trader Joe’s parking lot just south of the bridge.
Please use the ramp located on the southeast side of the bridge for access
So many things to do as part of the festival of the bats
The Batty Fiesta will include presentations by
*The Rillito River Project will fuse art and science for a presentation on the water table that is both informative and entertaining.
*Bat expert, Yar Petryszyn will discuss one of the largest urban bat populations in the Southwest.
Bring a flashlight, drinking water, and a blanket to sit on.
** If it rains Sunday 13, 2009 at 5:30 will be Bat NIght.
Some batty facts
The Mexican Free-tailed Bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) is a medium sized bat. Their bodies are about 9 cm in length, and they weigh about 12.30g with ears that are wide and set apart to help them find prey with echolocation.
The dark brown to gray Mexican Free-tailed Bat is considered a Species of Special Concern due to declining populations and limited distribution in Utah and the southwest.
Mexican Free-tailed Bats live in caves in the western and southern United States, Mexico, Central America, the West Indies, central Chile and Argentina. Their colonies are the largest congregations of mammals in the world except for the world’s largest urban areas. When the baby bats are born, their mothers leave them behind in the cave while they go out to hunt insects. She remembers where she left her “pup” by recognizing its unique “cry” and smell.
The species is very important for the control of pest-insect populations.
Grossly exaggerated media stories about rabies have led to the intentional destruction of large colonies to be destroyed needlessly. bats eat tons of insect pests, which in turn saves farmers billions of dollars annually on pesticide and crop protection costs. Some small insect-eating bats can consume up to 2,000 mosquito-sized insects in one night. They also disperse seeds and pollinate many plants. The Sonoran Desert ecosystem relies on nectar-feeding bats as the main means of pollinating saguaro cacti, biologists have found. In addition, bat waste or guano is a rich fertilizer that can be mined from caves.
Its populations are in an alarming decline because of the pesticide poisoning and the destruction of their roosting caves. The Carlsbad Caverns population, estimated to contain 8.7 million in 1936, had fallen as low as 218,000 by 1973. In addition, the bats lose roosting habitat as old buildings are destroyed. Human disturbance and vandalism of key roosting sites in caves are likely the single most serious causes of decline.
Excerpts courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Free-tailed_Bat
Excerpts courtesy of http://UANews.org
Excerpts courtesy of http://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/bat-rap/Content?oid=1083735
Excerpts courtesy of http://www.rillitoriverproject.org
Tucson bat video courtesy of
Images courtesy of http://www.nps.gov/bibe/naturescience/images/MexicanFree-tailedBat.jpg