San Antonio

How scientists are helping an endangered species

Bats are not an uncommon sight round San Antonio and South Texas.

In the center of town, bats are recognized to hang around underneath the Camden Street bridge, amongst different locations.

Farther north, the Bracken bat cave is a well-liked vacationer spot for many who’d like to identify quite a lot of bats. However, you’ll need to journey a number of hours west to see the species of bat we’re speaking about right here. 🦇

Meet the Mexican Long-Nosed Bat

I first discovered in regards to the Mexican long-nosed bat whereas doing a little analysis on Big Bend National Park. I had been offered with some fascinating information pertaining to the park.

According to Climate Central, Big Bend leads the record of National Parks expected to see the most warming by the beginning of the following century. Specifically, it’s projected that the variety of 100-degree days on the park (per year) will bounce from round 17 to greater than 100.


This is attributed to the elevated frequency of maximum warmth occasions attributable to local weather change.

Big Bend is among the many National Parks anticipated to see excessive warming by the beginning of the following century (Climate Central)

So, as I used to be wanting into what this warming would imply for the park, I discovered that Big Bend is residence to some endangered species. One of these species is the Mexican long-nosed bat.

If you look carefully at their faces, you’ll in all probability have the ability to determine the place they obtained their title. 😉

A photograph of the endangered Mexican long-nosed bat (J. Scott Altenbach)

I puzzled what the anticipated warming in Big Bend would imply for these bats. Were they doomed? Or, might one thing be finished? Thankfully, I discovered some consultants who had solutions to these questions and lots of extra.

Agave: Not Just for Tequila

I shortly discovered from two scientists with Bat Conservation International that the bats themselves aren’t at direct threat from excessive warmth occasions. For instance, they’re not going to expertise warmth exhaustion as a result of they’ll have the ability to keep cool of their caves.


However, their meals supply – agave nectar – is at the moment being affected by extended durations of warmth and drought, in addition to wildfire. While the massive agave is supposed to develop in a dry, sizzling surroundings, scientists say that the warmth waves and drought that are taking place extra usually might be an excessive amount of for the plant to resist.

Finding Solutions

In an effort to guard the agave inhabitants alongside the migratory path of the Mexican long-nosed bat, Bat Conservational International has begun an Agave Restoration project. You can learn extra about their vital work and learn to assist their efforts here.

To wrap issues up, it was vital to me to share this story as a result of it proves that motion is being taken to fight a climate-related problem. It might be irritating to see the issues that local weather change is inflicting, particularly when no hope for an answer is given.


Hopefully, like me, you’re inspired by the steps being taken to assist save the endangered Mexican long-nosed bat. I hope – additionally like me – you discovered just a little, too.

Author’s Note: Thank you to Dr. Winifred Frick and Dr. Kristen Lear with Bat Conservation International for his or her time and help with this story. Additionally, a particular because of Dr. Lear for offering picture and video of the agave, the bats, and the panorama of Big Bend.

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