Discovery Workshop - Join the Nightlife with Bats and Texas Pecans

Bat Survey Solutions is partnering with Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation (MTBC) and our friends at Swift River Pecans to bring a unique educational workshop featuring our joint efforts to survey for and protect bats while benefitting commercial agriculture. Along the San Marcos River in Central Texas, we will get to visit the birthplace of the commercial pecan industry at a unique orchard managed on the edge of ancient pecan forests. This Discovery Workshop showcases a restorative approach towards commercial agriculture that safeguards native soils, water, and wildlife - especially bats! 


Dates: Thursday 31 August thru Saturday 2 September
3-nights / 2 days
Cost: $495 per person
Optional "Add-on" Acoustic Survey Workshop: Sunday 3 September
Cost: $425 per person

Thursday night begins with a "kick-off" picnic dinner bat emergence at the famous Bracken Cave, just north of San Antonio

Formal instruction begins at 9am on Friday and will conclude by 10pm on Saturday. Field trips include viewing Central Texas bat habitat, building artificial roosts, and visiting both commercial and native pecan groves to learn about restorative agricultural practices. Additional optional evening programs to meet bats in the wild are planned Friday and Saturday nights when we capture live bats in the orchards with mist-nets and harp traps and deploy bat detectors that record and classify the echolocation calls of those that evade capture.

Location and Directions: Our presentations will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, San Marcos in San Marcos. Demonstrations and field trips will be at nearby Swift River Pecans (9975 San Marcos Highway - TX Highway 80 and Caldwell County Road 111).

Lodging: Participants must make their own lodging arrangements. See registration link below for details

Meals: Picnic Dinners are provided on Thursday. Friday and Saturday. Vegetarian fare is available with advanced notice. Breakfast and Lunch is on your own, and there are many restaurants to choose from in San Marcos.

Course Instructors: This course will be presented by Troy Swift, Owner, Swift River PecansMerlin D. Tuttle Founder, Merlin Tuttle's Bat Consrvation; and Janet D. Tyburec, Bat Survey Solutions. 

Pre-course Preparation: There is no prerequisite for this workshop. All backyard naturalists, educators, animal-lovers and anyone with an interest in learning more about bats as a form of integrated pest-control and agricultural health are welcome to attend. Though the instruction and activities are geared towards adults, mature school-age children are welcome with an accompanying parent or guardian and will be accommodated at a reduced registration. The instructors will provide complete information to all registered participants about how to prepare for the trip, including a suggested packing list, complete maps and driving directions to all our lecture, demonstration locations and field venues.

This workshop includes many optional opportunities for field trips and nighttime work with bats. Participants will not be allowed to handle bats, but photography and echolocation call recording is allowed. Instructors will facilitate all fieldwork with bats. A bat house building activity is planned and all tools and assembly materials will be provided. Adults will be required to supervise any minors brought to this activity.  A headlamp is suggested in addition to a secondary light source for participation in evening and nighttime activities. 

Feel free to contact us any time if you have additional specific questions about the workshop or how to prepare. 

How to Register: For information about student or early bird discounts, group rates at the Hilton, arranging meals for special diets, and for any other questions, contact Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation. To register for the event click HERE.