Lesser long-nosed bat

The fact that they are critical pollinating agents for the blue agave plant (used to make tequila) saved them from the brink of being endangered

ALAN SCHMIERER

Lesser long-nosed bats have yellow-brown to gray fur on the back and rusty brown fur on their belly. They have short tails, large ears, and an extremely long tongue measuring about 8cm (3.15 in), about the same length as their bodies. As the word ‘long-nosed’ implies, they have long and narrow snouts with triangular-shaped nose-leaf to help with detecting blooming flowers.

They are labeled as near threatened. In fact, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed them as endangered species in 1988. But thanks to Rodrigo Medellín’s effort to convince agave farmers to reserve a portion of the plantation to allow the plants to flower and pollinate instead of cloning the plants without flowers to restore food resources for the bats. In 2018, the Lesser long-nosed bat was delisted from the Endangered Species Act, and they are the first-ever bat species that had been delisted.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
El Salvador
2015
Guatemala
2015
Honduras
2015
Mexico
2015
United States
2015

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic / Monomorphic (size)

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Colony

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No