Bats and a changing climate: How scientists are helping an endangered species

Good News Notes:

Bats are not an unusual sight around San Antonio and South Texas.

In the heart of the city, bats are known to hang out under the Camden Street bridge, among other places.

Farther north, the Bracken bat cave is a popular tourist spot for those who’d like to spot more than a few bats. However, you’ll have to travel several hours west to see the species of bat we’re talking about here. 🦇

Meet the Mexican Long-Nosed Bat

I first learned about the Mexican long-nosed bat while doing some research on Big Bend in West Texas. I had been presented with some interesting data pertaining to the park’s climate.

According to Climate Central, Big Bend leads the list of National Parks expected to see the most warming by the start of the next century. Specifically, it is projected that the number of 100-degree days at the park (per year) will jump from around 17 to more than 100.

This is attributed to the increased frequency of extreme heat events due to climate change.

So, as I was looking into what this warming would mean for the park, I learned that Big Bend is home to some endangered species. One of those species is the Mexican long-nosed bat.

If you look closely at their faces, you’ll probably be able to figure out where they got their name.

I wondered what the expected warming in Big Bend would mean for these bats. Were they doomed? Or, could something be done? Thankfully, I found some experts who had answers to those questions and many more.

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I quickly learned from two scientists with Bat Conservation International that the bats themselves aren’t at direct risk from extreme heat events. For example, they’re not going to experience heat exhaustion because they’ll be able to stay cool in their caves…”

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