Texas conservationists plan $20.5 million bat deal

Bats hibernating in a cave. (AP Photo)
Bats hibernating in a cave. (AP Photo)

AUSTIN (AP) — Texas conservation groups and the city of San Antonio are nearing a $20.5 million deal to halt development near the world’s largest bat colony.

The coalition could finalize a deal this week to purchase 1,500 acres of land next to the Bracken Cave Preserve in Comal County from a developer. Austin-based Bat Conservation International, the Nature Conservancy and the city joined together to purchase the property after learning of a proposed development of up to 3,000 homes.

The land is in the bats’ flight path and conservationists fear human and bat interaction will harm the animals. San Antonio officials say the deal will enhance water quality and quantity in the Edwards Aquifer, the city’s primary source of water.

Council members will consider the deal Thursday.

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Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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