For well over 50 years, Mexican free-tailed bats have been using older buildings throughout Mineral Wells as roosting sites and as nurseries in which to raise their young. Future planned development in the area has made it no longer feasible or safe for local bats to continue roosting in these older buildings.
The Bat Castle idea was inspired by Bat World’s wild sanctuary, a 100 year-old sandstone building located in Mineral Wells, Texas. It was designed after noting the roosting preferences of the bats in our wild sanctuary (photo right). The castle is located on protected land and is capable of providing a safe refuge for hundreds of thousands of bats for decades to come.
A generous grant from the Chase Giving Campaign, along with private donations allowed us to complete the Bat Castle.
During the summer and fall of 2012, bats that were being excluded from local downtown buildings were trained to the location of the bat castle by releasing them inside the castle during the day. These bats were marked with a non-toxic tattoo ink before being released into the castle. The bats were free to leave at night and return to their original roosts. When a marked bat was spotted again, they were again taken to the bat castle to establish familiarization. Excluding maternity season, training involved hundreds of bats over a period of five months. We are hopeful that as exclusions are finally performed and old roosts are sealed this during the spring of 2013, the bats will take up residence in their bat castle, establishing it as their permanent roosting site as serving as a model for other towns to follow.