Texas Hill Country Bat Wars Coming to a Cave Near You

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The Entrance

Video: Robert Deming

This cave is 65 feet wide and 45 feet tall. It was mined for guano until 1970, and has been owned by the Nature Conservancy since 1990. The pregnant females come from colonies in Mexico in May and soon give birth to one pup each. Mothers and pups locate each other by calling back and forth in a colony of up to 5 million bats with a unique voice. Mothers feed the pups milk, then head out again for more moths. The entrance to the Preserve is adjacent to a tall ranch gate – you may think you are lost, this is on the right.

Getting there is, uh, interesting.

James River Crossing

Photo: Robert Deming

The most common approach to the Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve is US Hwy 87 to Mason, FM 1723 on the south side of town to FM 2389, then James River Road to the Preserve. The drive is through beautiful country; when you reach the James River, you will hesitate – is that the road on the other side? Yes, it is, and if you have a low clearance auto you may want to find another vehicle. The bats are very cool, but this is exciting! Call ahead to 325-347-5970 for river crossing information and emergence times.

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