The report includes the Mexican long-nosed bat and nine other species severely impacted by climate change and human behavior.
“Last Chance” Highlights Urgent Need to Address Biodiversity Loss, Global Warming
Washington, DC (Dec. 15, 2021) – Last month world leaders met in Glasgow for a global climate conference, and to announce their public commitments to reversing climate change. But for some species, it may almost be too late, according to a report released today by the Endangered Species Coalition and partners. Last Chance: 10 U.S. Species Already Imperiled by Climate Change highlights the plight of ten dwindling animal and plant species that are being impacted—directly or indirectly—by global climate change.
The report includes the Mexican long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris nivalis) and nine other species severely impacted by climate change and human behavior.
Migrating from Central Mexico in the winter to the Southwest United States in the summer, the Mexican long-nosed bat relies heavily on the nectar of agave plants which are increasingly being lost due to climate change and the impacts of encroaching human development.
Bat Conservation International (BCI) nominated the Mexican long-nosed bat for the report to highlight the urgent need to protect and enhance roosting and foraging habitat for this species – whose population is estimated to have been reduced by half within a 10-year period. Without flowering agave, these nectar-feeding bats cannot survive. Without these bats pollinating the agaves, the resiliency and long-term health of agaves in the landscape cannot be maintained.
BCI’s Agave Restoration Initiative is an ambitious and multi-faceted program intended to help restore the number of Mexican long-nosed bats by protecting landscapes and restoring agaves that sustain the bat populations.
“The urgency of maintaining agave corridors cannot be overstated, especially as we address the impacts of climate change and the loss of biodiversity,” stated Dr. Kristen Lear, BCI’s Endangered Species Interventions Specialist. “We’re racing against time to keep these corridors intact. Because saving landscapes, roosts, and habitats is essential to saving bats.”
In 2021, global leaders have finally begun to pay more attention to the twin crises of climate and biodiversity loss. This past summer, the United Nations (U.N.) scientific agencies on climate change and biodiversity released a report highlighting the interconnection between the two issues, warning that biodiversity loss will exacerbate climate change, and vice versa, and calling upon world leaders to address both issues urgently and concurrently. Several months later, on October 13, the U.N. Biodiversity Conference adopted the Kunming Declaration, which acknowledges that biodiversity loss and climate change are unprecedented crises that “pose an existential threat to our society, our culture, our prosperity and our planet.”
“Scientists have long known about the impact of greenhouse gases and carbon pollution on the planet,” said Leda Huta, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition. “Plants and wildlife are going extinct at an unprecedented rate, and it’s way past time for our elected leaders to take bold action to protect our planet and all its inhabitants.”
10 Species Already Imperiled by Climate Change:
- Florida Key deer
- Ka palupalu o Kanaloa
- Maui parrotbill
- Mexican long-nosed bat
- Western ridged mussel
- Whitebark pine
- Diamondback terrapin
- Elkhorn coral
- Monarch butterfly
- Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog
Endangered Species Coalition’s member groups nominated species for the report. A committee of distinguished scientists reviewed the nominations and chose the finalists. The full report, along with photos can be viewed and downloaded here: https://www.endangered.org/last-chance. The Endangered Species Coalition produces a Top 10 report annually, focusing on a different theme each year. Previous years’ reports are also available on the Coalition’s website.
About Bat Conservation International:
Founded in 1982, Bat Conservation International is a global conservation organization dedicated to ending bat extinctions. Bat Conservation International works worldwide to conserve caves, restore critical habitats in danger, and ensure the survival of the world’s bat species. For more information, visit batcon.org.
Media Contact: Javier Folgar
Tel: 512.327.9721 Ext. 410