Watch: UCF campus home to thousands of bats

ORLANDO, Fla. — At the University of Central Florida’s Harris Engineering building, at the bottom of a trench is an old drainage pipe that’s now home to a large bat colony.


Each night, just after sunset, the bats emerge, foraging for food.

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At first, it’s just a few bats, but venturing further into the culvert reveals as many as 5,000 bats living as deep as 6,800 feet into the pipe.

UCF Biologist Patrick Bohlen says the bats pose no threat to the public.

In fact, UCF students have studied the bats for research, including determining whether the droppings, or guano, could be a hazardous pollutant to a nearby stream.

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Bohlen says it’s likely the colony has lived on UCF’s campus for more than 20 years, and consists of two of the roughly 13 bat species native to Florida.

For about two hours after sunset each night, they’re very active, eating insects.

Bohlen says he doesn’t expect that to change anytime soon.

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“We have no intention of removing them, and chances are they’ll be there for a very long time,” Bohlen said.

While they don’t pose a threat to the public, Bohlen warns bats can carry rabies, and should never be picked up off the ground.

It's Frickin' Bats (on UCF's Campus)

It's frickin' bats (on campus) 🦇 Spooky season has us wondering about the bats at the UCF Arboretum. What do they do for our ecosystem? Why do we have them on campus? And should we be afraid of them? Let's hear what the director of the arboretum has to say 🦇👇 You can learn more about bats and their role in our ecosystem by visiting

Posted by University of Central Florida on Wednesday, October 27, 2021

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