Lesser Long Nosed Bat removed from endangered species list
The Lesser Long Nosed Bat has been on the U.S. endangered species list since the 1980's. It is now the first bat species to be removed from the U.S. endangered species list after 30 years of being on the list. The southwestern regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Amy Lueders, stated the following: “The Service is proud of our strong, decades-long partnerships with very diverse stakeholders on behalf of the lesser long-nosed bat. Without partnerships and collaborations such as these, successful recovery would not be possible.”
There are only three bat species in the United States that feed off of nectar, and the Lesser Long Nosed Bat is one of those three species. Agave plants are used in Tequila, and the bats help pollinate the agave. These bats colonize caves and mines along a nectar trail spanning from Arizona to southern Mexico. Drug and human traffickers have been known to use the caves, disrupting and sometimes killing the bats. Mexico has been trying to control vampire bats, which can carry rabies, but at the same time killing other bat species.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that there are 200,000 Lesser Long Nosed Bats living between the United States and Mexico. The two countries have set rules and regulations to protect the bats' food sources such as agave plants and saguaros.