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Home / Media & Info / BATS Archives / James River Bat Cave Now Open for Visitors
BATS Magazine

VOLUME 9, NO. 2 Summer 1991


James River Bat Cave Now Open for Visitors

Volunteers from BCI and the Texas Nature Conservancy (TNC) have been working hard since February to prepare the Eckert James River Bat Cave for visitors. The cave, which is summer home to approximately four million Mexican free-tailed bats, is one of the top 10 maternity sites known for the species. Located in the Texas Hill Country near Mason, the cave was purchased by the Texas Nature Conservancy last year in a cooperative venture with BCI.

In addition to assisting with management of the cave, BCI is providing interpretive services in the form of a three-panel on-site exhibit that describes the history of the cave, the bats, and the emergence.

Teams of BCI and TNC staff and members volunteered several months of Saturdays to clear brush and rocks for a road, a parking lot, and a trail to the cave. Braving both cold and heat, drizzle, scrapes and cuts, and frequent run-ins with prickly pear cactus, volunteers also laid railroad ties for seating and built a rock wall barrier to prevent visitors from interfering with the emergence.

The site is accessible by regular passenger car, but be prepared to drive several miles down a dirt road and ford at least one shallow river. Visitors will be richly rewarded; the bat flight at this cave is among the most spectacular in the United States. Nearby Mason residents have been enjoying it for years and are proud to share it with visitors.

The cave is open for visitation between May 1 and October 31. You can obtain directions by calling Sharon Reynolds at the Texas Nature Conservancy (512/224-8774) or write to TNC, P.O. Box 1440, San Antonio, TX 78295. Interpretive programs will be given periodically throughout the summer, and an intern will be present Wednesdays through Sunday to answer questions.


Volunteers worked hard over several months to get the Eckert James River Bat Cave ready for summer visitors. From left to right, Jim Loomis, Dan and Erwin Anderegg, and Garry Child.

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All articles in this issue:
ON THE COVER
Help for Migratory Bats
PREDATOR AND PREY: Life and Death Struggles
SEEING IN THE DARK
Tuning in with a Bat Detector
Bats in the Wrong Place?
James River Bat Cave Now Open for Visitors
BCI to Host Bat Research Meetings
Traveling Photo Exhibit
Bats Driven from the University of Arizona
One-Day Bat Study Workshop
New Activity Book for Children
Board of Trustees Adds Six New Members
WISH LIST
Here's a way you can increase your gift to BCI at no extra cost
REVIEWS
LETTERS
Lock and Key

Unless otherwise noted, all images are copyright ©Merlin D. Tuttle and/or ©Bat Conservation International