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Selman Bat Watch

Viewing dates are every weekend in July

Each summer, hundreds of thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats pour from the Selman Bat Cave to feed on insects, and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Wildlife Diversity Program offers the public the chance to watch.

Due to limited spacing, all Selman Bat Watch visitors must pre-register.  (The area is closed to the public except during official events.) Each night’s viewing activities are limited to 75 visitors drawn from the pool of mailed-in registration forms. Admission to the Selman Bat Watch is $14 for adults and $8 for children ages 8-12. Children must be 8 years of age or older to attend.

Eight viewing opportunities are offered each year. Watches in 2019 will be held each Friday and Saturday night in the month of July. (July 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27.)

How to Register:  Registration is Closed for 2019 Watches

Hopeful Selman Bat Watch participants must print, complete and mail their registration form to Selman Bat Watch c/o Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152 between May 28 and June 7, 2019 to be considered for 2019 watches. Registration is not yet open for 2020 watches. Please read the registration form and the below "Things to Consider if Selected for a Selman Bat Watch" carefully before completing. 

Registration forms must be postmarked on or before June 7, 2019 to be accepted for 2019 watches. 

Only one registration form is needed for families or groups. Group members should not register individually. Group size is limited to 10 on Saturday evenings.

What to Expect if Selected for a Selman Bat Watch:

Before being bused to the Selman Bat Cave Wildlife Management Area, visitors will be introduced to the Mexican free-tailed bat and other wildlife that may be encountered at the area. On site, group leaders will explain how the bats travel up to 1,400 miles each spring to give birth and raise their young in Oklahoma and take visitors on an optional ¼ mile nature walk. For your safety and to protect the bats, the cave will not be toured.

·         There are no flush toilets on site, but port-a-potties will be available.

·         There is no running water, but drinking water will be provided.

·         The nature trail is level, but not paved.

·         Rattlesnake encounters are possible.

Things to Consider if Selected for a Selman Bat Watch:

Safety of visitors and protection of the bats are of the utmost importance. State laws protect the bats, the cave and its environs.

·         Visitors are welcome to bring collapsible lawn chairs, insect repellent, binoculars and cameras.

·         Visitors are asked to leave glass containers, water bottles, non-registered people and pets at home.

·         Visitors are asked to dress for the outdoors (sturdy shoes – no sandals) and for the heat. Please consider wearing long pants to protect your legs from brush.

·         Adults must accompany children at all times and make sure they follow the rules.

·         Visitors must remain inside the mowed viewing area boundaries

·         NO SMOKING. The cave is located in a prairie.

About Selman Bat Cave Wildlife Management Area:

This 340-acre tract of land contains one of four known maternity colonies for Mexican free-tailed bats in Oklahoma. The cave is situated among gypsum bluffs surrounded by a mixed-grass prairie community.

The property was purchased by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation in 1996 with funds donated to the Wildlife Diversity Program and from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses.

The Selman Bat Watch Program begins at Alabaster Caverns State Park where registered participants check-in and receive an introduction to Mexican free-tailed bats and other wildlife that may be encountered during the evening's program. All registered Selman Bat Watch attendees will be bused to the Selman Bat Cave Wildlife Management Area from the state park after the orientation.