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Southern Long-nosed Bat Leptonycteris curasoae


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Southern Long-nosed Bat
credit: NPS

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Family: Phyllostomidae, New World Fruit Bats view all from this family

Description Reddish brown back; belly brownish. Erect leaf-shaped projection on tip of long nose. Large eyes. No noticable tail.

Dimensions 70-85 mm

Endangered Status The Lesser Long-nosed Bat, a subspecies of the Southern Long-nosed Bat, is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered in Arizona and New Mexico. Two factors seem to have affected the numbers of these bats. One is disturbance, by humans, of maternity roosts in caves, which may cause the bats to leave the caves. The other is the overharvest of the agave plants these bats feed on for the production of tequila and mescal in Mexico. Ironically, the decline in bats may result in a decline in agave plants, as the bats are major pollinators of certain species, and the plants depend on the bats just as the bats depend on the plants.

Warning Bats are susceptible to rabies, a serious viral disease that results in death if untreated. Rabid bats rarely attack humans or other animals, but bats found lying on the ground may be rabid. Never touch or pick up any bat. Stay away from any animal that seems to be acting strangely and report it to animal-control officers. If you are bitten by a possibly rabid animal, you must immediately consult a doctor for a series of injections; there is no cure once symptoms emerge.

Habitat Canyons & caves, Deserts, Forests & woodlands, Grasslands & prairies

Range Southwest

Discussion Found in areas where mountains rise from desert in southern Arizona and sw New Mexico. Roosts in caves and mines with females forming large maternity colonies. Tends to breed only in specific caves on islands of Caribbean.