Franklin County homeowners coming to aid of endangered gray bats

ST. CLAIR, MO (KPLR) – Getting to the opening of the abandoned lead mine on Nick Norman's property isn't easy, which is exactly why a large colony of gray bats decided it would be a good place to call home.

“These are federal protected endangered gray bats, listed on the endangered species list,” Norman said.

But Norman believes two nearby sand and gravel mines on the banks of the Meramec River will disrupt the bats’ eating habits and endanger the colony, which researchers said is full of female bats ready to give birth.

The researchers said the mines create a funnel effect, which means the gray bats have to fly through the mines in order to feed.

But long before the bats were discovered, Norman and others had already been fighting against the mine company for all the usual sorts of reasons, including the fact that he holds an outdoor event venue on his property.

Norman hopes the discovery of an endangered species will lend weight to his ‘not in my bat-yard argument’ at an upcoming Franklin County Zoning Adjustment Board meeting in Union next week.