Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references.

PrintPlain TextPermalink

News Release
Media Contact:
TPWD News,, 512-389-8030

Jan. 16, 2009

TPWD Seeks Volunteers for Old Tunnel Bat Tours

AUSTIN, Texas — From May to October, Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area  near Fredericksburg is home to approximately 3 million Mexican free-tailed bats. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is seeking volunteers to greet visitors and perform miscellaneous duties around the wildlife area.

Mexican free-tailed bats are the most common bat found throughout Texas. The bats are beneficial to Texans as they keep crop pests in check by eating up to two thirds of their body weight in insects every evening. With the large numbers of agricultural pests they eat, research has demonstrated that these bats can save farmers up to two applications of pesticides per year. In 1995, the Texas legislature named the Mexican free-tailed bat as the "state flying mammal."

Volunteers who are interested in serving for any length of time are invited to attend training on Sunday, March 22. The training session will cover volunteer opportunities, operations, and an in-depth introduction to the bats of Texas. Incentives for volunteering include field trips to various bat sites in Texas and a cumulative award system based on hours worked.

The Old Tunnel WMA derives its’ name from the abandoned railroad tunnel that serves as a bat habitat in the property. The area is the smallest wildlife management area in Texas, containing only 16.1 acres of land. Despite its small size, there are a variety of recreational opportunities at Old Tunnel WMA. The WMA nature trail is open year-round. Visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, bird watching, and general wildlife-viewing.

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Nyta Hensley at to sign up for the volunteer training session. Volunteers are required to fill out an application, sign a volunteer work agreement, and pass a criminal background check. Space is limited and advance registration is required.

On the Net:


More Information:

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.
  • Copy.
  • 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 and mention Plain Text Pages.

(5.4.16 i)