Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references.
Free Children’s Book Distributed to Promote Bat Education
AUSTIN, Texas — Approximately 37,000 copies of a new children’s book entitled “Frankie the Free-tailed Bat” are being distributed free to schools across Texas and in parts of Mexico by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
“It’s important to educate children to help them understand that bats aren’t bad, that they’re actually good for the environment,” said author Nyta Hensley, who is also the Natural Resources Specialist for the Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area. “Bats play key roles in a lot of different ecologies. For one thing, new research shows bats save farmers millions of dollars in avoided pesticide use by naturally controlling insect pests.”
The book, which is being published in English and Spanish, is about a female free-tailed bat which migrates to Texas, where she has a baby. The story tells the adventures of Frankie and her son as they migrate back and forth from Texas to Mexico.
“A big part of this project is to help educate people about bats and the important role they play in agriculture,” said Hensley.
The free-tailed bat mainly feeds on insects, and as a result, it reduces insect pests such as the corn earworm moth that harm farmers’ crops. In turn, the amount of chemicals that farmers need to use is also diminished.
Boston University Professor Thomas Kunz, Ph.D., is leading a research project in Texas to specify the dollar value of bats to control insect pests. He also consulted on the content of “Frankie the Free-Tailed Bat,” which was developed as a public outreach component of the research project with funds from a National Science Foundation grant.
“If adults could only see the world through the eyes of children, they could relive the wonderment and excitement of discovery they too once experienced in their youth,” Kunz writes in the book’s introduction. “Bats are creatures of the night; they often live in dark places, and thus are rarely seen directly by most people. Because of this, children and adults often develop unfounded, false attitudes toward bats that are more often based on myth than on fact. [This book] tells a delightful story, based on scientific discoveries, that not only imparts new knowledge about this fascinating bat species to young readers, but it also contains new information that will be of interest to a broader audience—that this species and others like it, are valuable members of our environment that need to be protected.”
Along with being the most common bat in Texas, the free-tailed bat is also one of the most abundant mammals in North America, commonly known as the “house bat.”
For more information about how to obtain your copy of “Frankie the Free-tailed Bat,” please contact Mark Klym at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the TPWD Web site for an electronic version.
On the Net:
- English: http://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_w7000_1423.pdf
- Spanish: http://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_w7000_1423_spanish.pdf
Publication — Permission is granted to publish, in whole or in part, any news releases on this page.
Print — A print-friendly version of the news release shows only the release with font sizes set to the browser default.
Plain Text — Plain text versions of TPWD news releases are provided for copying and pasting into editing software.
To copy text into an editing software:
- Click a Plain Text link to display the plain text page in your browser.
- Select all.
- Paste in a document in your editing program.
Permalink — This is a direct link to the news release, omitting the navigation context from the URI.
English/Spanish — News releases posted in both English and Spanish have one of these links.
If you have any suggestions for improving these pages, send an e-mail to email@example.com and mention Plain Text Pages.