AGAVES FOR BATS
1,000 species of bats make up approximately 25 percent of all mammal species on earth, with 30 species residing in the borderlands of Arizona and northern Mexico. Most bats eat insects, with the exception of two nectar-feeding bats, Choeronycteris mexicana (Mexican long-tongued bat) and Leptonycteris yerbabuenae, (Lesser long-nosed bat).
Lesser Long-nosed Bat
PHOTO: J. SCOTT ALTENBACH
The Sky Islands is considered an important area in need of conservation to protect pollinator populations, including the Lesser long-nosed bat that was taken off the Endangered Species list, despite its nectar source continuing to be threatened.
Agave is an important bat food source in this grassland region that faces threats such as climate change, land development, and wild harvest of agaves for Bacanora production.
Borderlands Restoration Network (BRN) is working on several aspects of agave conservation through partnerships with multiple organizations and volunteers.
AGAVES FOR BATS
Our primary agave collaboration is with Bat Conservation International (BCI) and the agaves for bats project which is supporting on the ground restoration of regionally sourced agaves from seeds in the southwest U.S. and northern Mexico.
Our native plant program is collecting seed and propagating thousands of agaves for restoration. Our current contract with BCI is producing 2,000 Agave palmeri’s for restoration in southern Arizona in partnership with various private and public land managers. To date, we have planted 4,124, and counting, agaves across the borderlands.
4,124 AGAVES PLANTED & COUNTING!
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FLOWERS FOR BATS
The Flowers for Bats Campaign tackles the climate change stressors to agaves by recruiting volunteers to track the flowering cycle of the native agaves in our region. The US Fish & Wildlife Service, in partnership with the USA National Phenology Network, is seeking to better understand where and when nectar sources are available for bats while they are in the northern portion of their range raising their young.
This campaign also supports the efforts of Bat Conservation International to collect data on flowering phenology. You can help document flowering agave during the spring and summer periods by volunteering. >>>>LEARN MORE