Thursday, April 19, 2018

Once Rare Nectar-Feeding Bat Removed From U.S. Endangered Species List

Thirty years ago, the future looked grim for the lesser long-nosed bat. In 1988, with a population of less than 1,000 and only 14 known roosts, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed it as endangered. But things are looking up for the bat. As the agency announced this week in a press release, the bat has recovered enough to be removed from the list. Thanks to bi-national efforts over the last several decades, there are now around 200,000 lesser long-nosed bats at 75 roosts in the American Southwest and Mexico. It is the first bat ever removed from the United States’ Endangered Species List due to population recovery. “The science clearly shows threats to the bat have been eliminated or reduced to the point that the bat has recovered,” says Amy Lueders, the agency’s service southwest regional director, in a statement. The nectar-feeding bat’s recovery is also good news for the environment. It’s an important pollinator and seed disperser of saguaros in the Sonoran Desert and tequila-producing agave in central Mexico. Though some populations of the bat migrate between the United States and Mexico, others stay in Mexico year-round. The creatures contribute to healthy habitats in both countries...MORE

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