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Baja Bats

February 26, 2014

A recent expedition to Baja California revealed a surprising number of bats living in abandoned mines.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Protecting Baja’s bats. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

10638793063_597db8468f_z California Leaf Nosed Bat Baja Alan Harper cc 3.0 Flickr

California Leaf-nosed Bat (Alan Harper/Flickr)

Very little is known about the plants and animals living in the Sierra de las Cacachilas mountains of Southern Baja California. Recently, biologists from the U.S. And Mexico visited the remote region to document its biodiversity. The team was surprised by the number of bats they encountered, including some threatened and endangered species. The area’s many abandoned mines may play a key role in maintaining the healthy bat population, according to wildlife biologist Drew Stokes of the San Diego Natural History Museum. He says the mines provide a safe place for bats to roost and breed.

DREW STOKES (San Diego Natural History Museum):

Knowing that there are large populations occurring in these mines and that these mines could potentially be protected was exciting from a conservation standpoint.

HIRSHON:

He says to protect bats in the mines, metal gates have to be erected that allow the animals to come and go freely, while keeping curious humans out. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society. 

10638793063_597db8468f_z Sierra de Cacahila Baja Alan Harper cc 3.0 Flickr

The Sierra de las Cacachilas mountains of Baja California. (Alan Harper/Flickr)