Parks & Recreation

Save the Cave

The Bracken Cave is the summer home to the largest mammal colony in the world. Millions of Mexican Free-tail bats emerge throughout the summer for their nightly feeding. The bats are a key component of the Hill Country ecosystem and provide up to $700,000 worth of pesticide services to Central Texas farmers.

The land directly south of the cave, which lies directly in the low-altitude flight path of the bats, is currently slated for development. We are collaborating with Bat Conservation International, the Texas Nature Conservancy, the Edwards Aquifer Authority, and other entities in an effort to purchase the land south of the cave.

This is an inter-agency and public-private partnership venture that will accomplish three distinct objectives:

  1. Aquifer protection because the tract of land sits atop the Edwards Aquifer Recharge and Contributing Zones;
  2. Habitat preservation; and
  3. Bat protection.
Should we continue pursuing innovative partnerships to achieve policy objectives? If so, are there any other challenges that we should address in this manner?