News of the Week

May 16, 2014

A service of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

SIGN UP FOR SELMAN BAT WATCH STARTING MAY 27

Hundreds of thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats will soon be emerging from the Selman Bat Cave to feed on insects. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is offering your family a chance to watch!

The migratory Mexican free-tailed bats use the Selman Bat Cave as a maternity roost - one of four known Oklahoma nursery caves. Each evening, bats leave the cave in a mass exodus, feeding on flying insects from 15 to several thousand feet above the ground.

Eight viewing opportunities will be offered this summer on four consecutive weekends beginning July 11. Each night's viewing activities are limited to 75 visitors who will be randomly drawn from a pool of mailed-in registration forms. Forms will be available online at wildlifedepartment.com beginning May 27. Hopeful viewers must print, complete and mail their registration form to the Wildlife Department c/o Bat Watch Program, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152 between May 27 and June 6. Only mailed registration forms postmarked on or by June 6 will be accepted. Carefully read the registration form instructions to ensure consideration. Successful registrants will receive an e-mail confirmation and an information packet in the mail. The cost is $12 for admission ($6 for children ages 8-12). Children must be 8 years or older to attend. Only one registration form is needed for families or groups. Group members should not register individually.

Lucky participants will ride a bus to the Selman Bat Cave Wildlife Management Area to learn about bats and other mixed-grass prairie wildlife species. The evening's grand finale will be the rare chance to observe the bat feeding frenzy overhead.

2014 marks the 19th year for the Selman Bat Watch program.

For more information, visit wildlifedepartment.com or e-mail Melynda Hickman at mhickman@zoo.odwc.state.ok.us.