bats found here are Mexican Freetail Bats. These winged crusaders
are insect eaters that clear the night of pesky bugs. They actually
live here only during the Summer months, and they come here to give
birth and raise their young in the caverns.
use echo location to find their way in the dark, and each one uses
it's own unique frequency. Similar to how we humans have different
bat populations have been in decline here for sometime, and no one
knows exactly why. Today the bats number around 300,000, while it
is thought that there were over one million bats here when James
White entered the cavern in 1898.
Mexican Free-tail bat weighs only half an ounce, but has an 11 inch
wing span. Bats reside about 1/2 mile inside the cave hanging in
close groups 30-80 feet above the cave floor, but they are not near
the tour route .
the bats usually leave starting somewhere between 7:30 and 8:30pm,
this is not always the case. Sometimes they don't leave until as
late as midnight and sometimes not at all.
one knows exactly where the bats go in winter, but scientists believe
it is northern Mexico.