As it seems like ever other story we write talks about how our syrup or hummus or god forbid, even our tequila is in danger due to our increasingly faulty environment, we were pleased to see some unusually positive news in The New York Post today related to that last item. According to the U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service, “the lesser long-nosed bat, which ranges from Mexico to southern Arizona and New Mexico” is now “the first bat ever removed from the nation’s list of threatened and endangered species.”
The bats are key to the pollination of agave, which features prominently in the production of tequila, hence the terminology “tequila bats” (which we are dibsing as a band name) as well as “bat-friendly tequila” being marketed in Mexico. While the bats’ numbers have once suspected to have dwindled down to about a thousand, now they are surging upward, to current estimates of about 200,000. Scientists were able to track the bats’ migration patterns using hummingbird feeders and radio transmitters, and also helped bolster the bat population by educating people about the bats (they had a bad rep because they resembled vampire bats), and limiting human entry into bat-friendly habitats like caves. Hopefully, then, agave will also be on the rise, thereby securing tequila for future generations who may no longer have to face a horrifying margarita-less landscape.
Winifred Frick, chief scientist at Bat Conservation International, said in a statement: “The story of the lesser long-nosed bat shows that conservation and science can work together to provide species the chance to recover and persist.” Well done, science. Can the salvation of hummus be far behind?