Emma P. Gomez-Ruiz
Research: Monitoring foraging resources for endangered nectarivorous bats in northern Mexico
Species/Topic: Nectarivorous bats
Abstract: Neotropical nectar-feeding bats are more vulnerable to extinction than other bats due to their specialized diet. Nectarivorous bats are recognized for being critical pollinators for several plant species that have floral syndromes adapted to attract bats. Plants of the genus Agave are an example of this adaptation and for several species a key pollinator is the Mexican long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris nivalis). Mainly pregnant females of this bat migrate from Central Mexico to Southern USA every spring and summer to have their young in the north. They follow the blooms of paniculate Agave spp., and pollinate distant populations of these plants. Currently this bat species is endangered according to national and international criteria. We propose to identify and evaluate the status of the foraging and roosting sites used by the migratory L. nivalis in its northern range. This information will help develop a coordinated monitoring program for nectarivorous bats.