Panther Island Adventures!

Panther Island is 2,800 acres of restored wetland and upland habitats situated in the northwest corner of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary's 13,000 acres. It is home to numerous plants and animals including the Florida panther and the iconic wood stork.
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Friday, July 30, 2010

Critter of the Week Aug 2: Brazilian free-tailed bat

I LOVE BATS! Have I told you guys... I ADORE BATS!
Now people fear these little flying mammals because of so much misinformation "flying" around. But if this world had no bats, there would be far fewer species of plants and WAY more insects chomping on us at night! This picture was taken by my good friend Jennifer Beltran at emergence time of Bracken Cave. Bracken Cave is located in Texas and is the largest concentration of mammals on earth. Seen here is a Brazilian free-tailed bat which is a common resident of Florida. This species has a scent gland. The gland, located at throat base, secretes a strong musky odor. The odor reminds me of Fritos chips actually! You can smell a colony of these bats! They are commonly found roosting in manmade structures such as bridges, stadiums, attics, barrel tile roofs, etc. They are likely candidates for bat houses as well. The Florida population roosting behavior varies from populations in the central and southwestern United States.
These high fast flyers forage on insects such as moths, flies, and beetles and are known to be great controllers of agriculural pests in certain areas of the country.
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