Society and the Environment: Bats and Bridges

Congress Avenue bridge bats

Mexican free-tailed bats leave their roost under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas, to hunt for insects.

A large colony of Mexican free-tailed bats lives under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas. These bats eat millions of insects a night, so they are welcome neighbors. Communities around the country and around the world have learned of the bats and have asked Austin for help in building bat-friendly bridges. But all that the people of Austin knew was that the bats appeared after the Congress Avenue Bridge was rebuilt in the 1980s. What attracted the bats? The people of Austin had to do a little research.

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