The bats of Texas have sustained devastating losses in the wake of the winter storm that blew through during the week of February 14. We lost tens of thousands of Mexican freetail, evening, and tri-colored bats, northern and southern yellow bats, and yuma myotis bats. Forty-three bats came to Bat World MidCities from Sugar Land, TX (about four hours away); our colleagues in Austin and San Antonio saw thousands of bats come through their doors. While many of those bats were able to recover with supportive care, and were released as soon as the weather warmed up again, a significant percentage require more time and care to recover or, sadly, did not survive. It will take decades for these bat populations to return to pre-Uri levels.
Adding insult to injury, the palm trees in which the yellow bats roost are now dying. Please, if you live in an area affected by Winter Storm Uri and have palm trees, take care when removing the dead 'skirts' or taking out trees. Consult with an arborist, and contact a local bat rehabilitator for guidance before pruning, trimming, or removing trees!