Endangered long-nosed bats fly in to feast on the sweet nectar of the flowering agave plant which is used to make tequila.
Industrial farming practices had left them on the brink of extinction.
But Ecology professor and specialist in bats, Dr. Rodrigo Medellin, has been working with the industry to change that. He’s convinced some producers to harvest their crop after flowering so the bats have food to survive and can pollinate more plant species.
“Here we are making a step forward. Taking a step forward by explaining to the bartenders, to the consumers, to the public that these bats have been doing this for millions of years and it’s just a benefit to ourselves. We are just repaying what the bats have been doing for thousands of years,” he says.
Five tequila and agave producer brands are now producing bat friendly tequila. They’re integrating more harvest and cultivation practices in recognition that the bats are key pollinators.
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