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Three species removed, mouse remains listed under ESA


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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a final rule last week declaring that the lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae) is no longer threatened with extinction and can be removed from the endangered species list. This is the first bat species threatened with extinction to be removed due to recovery. The lesser long-nosed bat was first listed as endangered in 1988. One of three bat species in the United States that feed on nectar, the lesser long-nosed bat migrates from southern Mexico to Arizona, feeding on agave and cactus nectar and roosting in caves. Human disturbance historically contributed to population declines, with the species having fewer than an estimated 1,000 individuals and 14 known roosts when it was listed. Now the species is estimated to have more than 200,000 individuals and is no longer in danger of extinction, according to the USFWS. The Service says the bat’s recovery is due to cooperation between researchers in the U.S. and Mexico, citizen scientists in Arizona and producers in Mexico who cultivate agave to make tequila. Arizona residents volunteered to monitor night-time bat use of hummingbird feeders to provide data on the bat’s migration patterns. Tequila producers, recognizing the bat’s role as an [...]

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