How Your Donations Preserve At-Risk Bat Species and the Biodiversity of Their Environment

Did you know there are only 34 species of bats that feed exclusively on nectar, rather than insects? This unique trait makes them important pollinators for flora vital to the preservation of ecosystems. 

That's why Project Peril partnered with Borderlands Restoration Network (BRN) to support their restoration efforts. BRN works to balance out the destruction of agaves for industrial and residential land use in the U.S., as well as the wild harvest of agaves for Bacanora (the regional mescal produced from agaves in Sonora).

Two species of bat at risk are the Mexican long-tongued bat and the lesser long-nosed bat. Both feed on agave, saguaro cacti flowers, and other Sonoran blooms. Their feeding results in spreading seeds that maintain the fragile biodiversity of the area. Without these bats, there would be no agave, a key ingredient in tequila, or the iconic saguaro cactus – can you imagine?! 

Mexican long-tongued bat

Photo © Adobe Stock

Donations from people like you allowed Project Peril to award a grant supporting BRN’s Agaves for Bats program, which is reportedly going exceptionally well this year despite COVID staffing pressures and the year-long drought.

In March, Borderlands Restoration Network worked with young adult volunteers from across the U.S. who came to learn about our work and helped us transplant agave seedlings into larger pots. These groups learned about agaves for bats and were able to engage with the restoration process by potting up baby agave plants. What better way to learn about the restoration process!

Photo © Francesca Claverie with Borderlands Restoration Network 

BRN has propagated thousands of Agave palmeri from seeds at their native plant nursery in Patagonia, AZ. They have also continued their cross-border efforts on Bacanora policy work in Sonora through their work with the Colectivo Sonora Silvestre.   

With funds from Greater Good Charities, Borderlands Restoration Network has been able to germinate thousands of more agave plants from seed, increasing the genetic diversity of plants in the landscape through restoration. Agave seedlings struggle in the wild due to predation and drought. They often need extra nursery help to get started before surviving on their own in the wild.

Photo © Francesca Claverie with Borderlands Restoration Network  

Most of the work over the last several months has been focused on propagation, and we are looking forward to the planting of more agaves during the Arizona summer monsoon season. With a fantastic volunteer team of over 40 people, they will be able to map out the restoration of wild agave populations over the next two years. The funding our generous donors have raised will allow them to increase the quantity of regionally appropriate agaves for restoration. This is crucial in protecting the migrating nectar-feeding bat populations, as well as educating our borderlands communities on the relationship between the two specific bat species and flowering agaves.

Your donation to Project Peril helps us continue to preserve these at-risk bat species and the vital biodiversity of their environment.