Texas Drought Affecting Food for Bats in Austin

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Flickr/Noud W

    Experts say the drought is causing Mexican free-tailed bats that hang out under a Texas bridge to change their eating habits and that could get them killed.

    Hundreds of thousands of bats at the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin are emerging earlier than usual in the evening to find bugs.

    Ed Arnett with Bat Conservation International says predators like hawks can more easily see and kill the bats.

    The Austin American-Statesman reported Sunday that drought has limited healthy plants, so bats must go where they can find bugs, such as irrigated farmland.

    University of California-Santa Cruz ecologist Winifred Frick recently visited Texas to try to find where bat foraging happens in dry years. Frick says one bad year for drought isn't going to make or break bats.