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Activists: Huge Bat Colony Endangered by Proposed Development

Activists: Huge Bat Colony Endangered by Proposed Development

Environmental groups are upping their effort to kill a proposed 3800 home subdivision which is set to be constructed in southern Comal County, not far from the Cibolo Canyon Preserve and the Bracken Bat Cave, which is the largest colony of bats in the world, 1200 WOAI news reports.

 

  "If you put ten thousand people under the flight plan of 10 million bats we are bound to have some human-bat interaction," said Mylea Bayless of Bat Conservation International.  "These bats come out of the cave every night, they fly for three or four hours, they forage over the area."

 

  The 'Crescent Hills' subdivision would be located immediately south of the Bracken Bat Cave, and is in San Antonio's 'extra territorial jurisdiction,' even though not in the San Antonio city limits.

 

  Ashley Driskill of Bat Conservation says this creates a regulatory problem, because Comal County has no right to have a say in how the area is developed.

 

  So the group Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance will attempt to kill the subdivision by appealing to the San Antonio Water System not to provide water and sewer service to the area.

 

  "The impact of intensive development on the property could endanger millions of bats which make Bracken Bat Preserve the largest colony of mammals in the world," said Annalisa Peace of GEAA. 

 

  She says the subdivision would also damage the value of so called 'mitigation credits' purchased by the Army.  In order to develop in bird migration paths near Camp Bullis, the Army agreed to purchase the Cibolo Canyon Preserve near the bat cave for protected habitat for the Golden-cheeked Warbler.

 

  Bayless says damaging the bat would displace the delicate ecosystem which exists in the area, and would lead to devastating losses for farmers, ranchers and gardeners, because insects which damage crops are currently eaten by the bats.

 

  "We want to make sure that the City Council and the Planning Commission and anybody else who can make a difference listens," Bayless said.  "Even though they say they have no jurisdiction."

 

 

 

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