Harvey causing major changes to Buffalo Bayou bat population

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How Harvey affected the Waugh bat colony (KTRK)

Houston's most famous bat colony will take years to recover from Hurricane Harvey, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

The colony is located under the Waugh Drive Bridge near Allen Parkway at the Buffalo Bayou Park. Spectators gather every night around dusk to see the flying mammals take flight.

Diana Foss works as a wildlife biologist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. She said at its peak, the colony boasted around 300,000 bats. She said the natural disaster either displaced or killed about two-thirds of the population. Foss said many bats drowned when the flood waters reached the bridge.

"Post-Harvey the bats will definitely come back. They're already back. They're coming back from migration. They're coming back from other locations," said Foss. "They give birth to one pup a year so it's going to take a while to build the population back. Yes, it will grow. It will get back to where it was before. It will just take time."

Foss said people might notice a change in how the bats emerge from the bridge. She said in the past they streamed out in large numbers. Nowadays, they seem to be emerging in groups.

For more information on the colony, visit the City of Houston's website.

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