Discover Central Texas Bats and 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! 


Join the Nightlife Texas Bats and Pecans: 19-21 September 2024
Acoustic Survey Short Course: 22-23 September 2024

We begin with a "kick-off" picnic dinner and bat emergence at the famous Bracken Cave, just north of San Antonio

Formal instruction is presented in San Marcos, Texas. Field trips to Swift River Pecans in nearby Lockhart include viewing bat habitat, building artificial roosts, and visiting both commercial and native pecan groves to learn about regenerative agricultural practices. Additional optional evening programs to meet bats in the wild are planned each night 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 Holiday Inn San Marcos Convention Center, 105 Bintu Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666. Tel: (833) 624-6630. Demonstrations and field trips will be along the San Marcos River and at Swift River Pecans.

Lodging: Participants must make their own lodging arrangements. 

Meals: Lunch is provided during all classroom presentations and picnic dinners are provided during all field trips. Vegetarian fare is available with advanced notice. Breakfast is on your own.

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, biologists, bat-workers from any background, 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. 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 lectures, 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 without proof of current rabies pre-exposure vaccination, but photography and echolocation call recording is encouraged. 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. Camp chairs are suggested for participants attending any field event.  

Registration Fees: 

Bats and Pecans, 19-21 September $750

Acoustic Short-course, 22-23 September $615.

(Costs include all taxes and fees.)

How to Register: Students can select just the "Bats and Pecans" workshop where we will provide a broad introduction to bat research, while capturing and recording bats in the native pecan forest, or can attend the "Acoustic Short-course" only to concentrate on non-contact bat survey methods. But why not join us for both events and become immersed in this unique opportunity to learn how bat research and long-term survey efforts directly benefit science-based agricultural practices. Click here for the Registration Link. For detailed information about the logistics, what-to-bring, arranging meals for special diets, and for any other questions, contact: Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation.