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bat watch -sign up begins May 29, 2012

Selman Bat Cave Wildlife Management Area

sky full of bats

The Selman Bat Cave Wildlife Management Area is a tract of 340 acres near Woodward that contains one of the state’s largest maternity colonies of Mexican free-tailed bats. This bat is the official state of Oklahoma flying mammal.

The bats migrate to Oklahoma each summer. The Wildlife Department protects the bat colony and offers summer viewings of the bats through the Selman Bat Watch.

In addition to wowing Bat Watch visitors with their impressive evening flights, the bats provide a huge economic benefit to local farmers and ranchers. The bats eat an estimated 22,000 pounds of mosquitoes, moths and beetles each night they're in Oklahoma!

The Selman Bat Cave was purchased with funds donated to the Wildlife Diversity Program and from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. The area is closed to the public except during specific Bat Watch evenings, when a Wildlife Department biologist escorts people on and off the property.


The area is comprised of a mixed-grass gypsum prairie that is home to many other wildlife species.

landscape photo of the prairie

Some of them include the great-crested flycatcher, western meadowlark, porcupine, dickcissel, common nighthawk, rock wren, glass lizard, Chuck-wills-widow, turkey vulture, the rare Texas horned lizard, and rufous-crowned, lark and grasshopper sparrows.

Attend a Bat Watch

person looking at bluffs
The area is an intriguing landscape of sandsage prairie, spring-fed creeks and gypsum bluffs.