By Josie  June 12th, 2023

The World's Biggest Colony of Bats on Record

The Bracken Cave is home to one of the largest colonies of bats ever recorded.

By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters – Mexican free-tailed bats exiting Bracken Bat CaveUploaded by Dolovis, Public Domain,

The Bracken Cave is filled with millions of bats from 20 different species and spans over 30 acres deep into the ground.

It’s located just outside of San Antonio, Texas - at times, there can be over 15 million bats roosting there

Each year, they embark on an extraordinary journey, flying thousands of miles between their wintering grounds in Mexico and their summer roost in Bracken Cave.


Bats can use echolocation to locate objects and prey, emitting high-pitched sounds that bounce back to them as echoes.

The Mexican Free-Tailed Bat forms the majority of the world's biggest bat colony.

The Mexican Free-Tailed Bat

They have a wingspan of 11-13 inches and weigh half an ounce.

Mexican free-tailed bats are insectivorous creatures, relying primarily on a diet consisting of various flying insects.

Females establish maternity colonies and gather to give birth and raise their young

Social Behavior

They form strong bonds and display complex social structures.

- Big Brown Bat - Eastern Red Bat - Brazilian Free-tailed Bat - Evening Bat

Other Bat Species Found in the World's Biggest Bat Colony:

Bats face various threats, from habitat loss, pollution, and climate change to disease outbreaks.


Additionally, the use of pesticides that reduce the availability of insects, a primary food source for many bat species.

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