Giant numbers of lifeless or dying bats are being found underneath bridges and overpasses in Texas after final week’s winter storm. One Austin resident despatched KUT a video of what she noticed downtown underneath a bridge at Henderson and Ninth Avenue.
“It was actually upsetting,” Amy Miley mentioned. “A lot of them have been clearly lifeless, after which a variety of them weren’t lifeless but, in order that they have been struggling.”
Watch Miley’s video under. Warning: Its content material could also be disturbing to some.
Biologists say local weather change has precipitated bats to regulate their migratory patterns so some bats spend an excessive amount of of the winter in locations like Texas, as an alternative of flying south.
“An excessive storm occasion like that is actually unprecedented, and the bats couldn’t deal with the physiological harm,” mentioned Dr. Winifred Frick, chief scientist at Bat Conservation Worldwide. “They most certainly froze to demise.”
“The dimensions of this die-off … I feel that is actually unprecedented in Texas,” Frick mentioned.
In the meantime, some teams are scrambling to rehabilitate the bats who survived.
“We’re doing our greatest, as are rehabbers throughout Texas,” Austin Bat Refuge posted on Facebook. “For those who’re native, we may use extra 1 ml insulin syringes (29-31 ga) and 1 ml syringes no needles.”
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Division posted images on Facebook of a mass bat die-off. The pictures present rubbish baggage full of lifeless bats.
TPWD is making an attempt to trace the extent of the die-off by asking individuals to examine underneath bridges and overpasses for lifeless bats and report information and pictures to the iNaturalist project.
The division warns that nobody with out correct coaching ought to contact a bat, no matter whether or not the bat is alive or lifeless. For those who discover a downed bat who wants help, please learn What to Do if You’ve Found a Bat.
This story was produced as a part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT.
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