For the first time a bat has recovered from its status as an endangered species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to de-list Arizona’s lesser long-nosed bat. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.
The species was listed as endangered in 1988. At that time biologists estimated no more than one thousand bats remained. Now there are 200,000.
The lesser long-nosed bat migrates from Mexico into southern Arizona, following a trail of blooming agaves, saguaros and other flowering cacti. It roosts in caves and abandoned mines.
In Mexico it’s a vital pollinator for agaves cultivated by tequila makers. It was removed from Mexico’s list of endangered species in 2015.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will continue to monitor the bat after it’s de-listed.