Mexican long nosed bat 240Researchers, educators, and government representatives met in Austin last week to establish a comprehensive vision and action plan to help recover this migratory pollinator bat.


 Rodrigo Medellin

Rodrigo Medellin and Arnulfo Moreno share their knowledge to develop a
conservation strategy for the Mexican long-nosed bat.
Credit: Faith Walker

The globally endangered Mexican long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris nivalis) received some much needed attention last week as experts came together for a two day meeting to devise a plan for the conservation of the species.

A binational group of 18 conservationists, researchers, educators, and government representatives, collectively known as the Nivalis Conservation Network, met to establish a comprehensive vision and action plan to help recover this migratory bat. Found in both Mexico and the southernmost parts of Texas and New Mexico, this pollinator species provides unique challenges for its conservation across borders.

“The meeting was inspirational,” said Dave Waldien, Bat Conservation International’s Senior Director of Global Conservation. “It was marked by a strong sense of open communication, sharing of information and expertise, and a commitment to achieve lasting conservation for the endangered bat.”

The Nivalis Conservation Network is committed to working for the recovery of the Mexican long-nosed bat in Mexico and the United States and set a robust conservation and research agenda, identifying threats, actions, and indicators for success that they have already started to implement.

The plan, and information generated through this binational network, will be shared with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to contribute to government species status assessments and the eventual development of a new recovery plan.

“Only by pooling resources and knowledge, and by establishing synergy and cooperation, will this charismatic bat have a chance at recovery. The table is set! Let´s get to work!,” said Rodrigo Medellin, Co-Chair of the IUCN Bat Specialist Group and long-time researcher on this species.

participants at Mexican long-nosed bat meeting
Participants at the 2016 Mexican long-nosed bat conservation meeting
Credit: Faith Walker

Participants included: Dr. Dave Waldien, Bat Conservation International; Dr. Rodrigo Medellin, Dr. Ana Ibarra, and Nora Torres, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; Dr. Alberto Rojas, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo; Dr. Arnulfo Moreno, Museo de Historia Natural de Tamaulipas; Dr. Kathryn Stoner and Rachel Burke, New Mexico State University; Dr. Faith Walker, Northern Arizona University; Dr. Emma Gomez and Dr. Tom Lacher, Texas A&M University; Kristen Lear, University of Georgia; Marikay Ramsey, USDI Bureau of Land Management; Greg Butcher, USDA Forest Service International Program; Cyndee Watson, Jennifer Smith-Castro, and Erin Adams, USDI Fish and Wildlife Service; and Jonah Evans, Texas Parks and Wildlife.