Nectar-eating bat project

MARANA, Ariz. - "If your hummingbird feeder mysteriously drained during the night last summer, the midnight raiders may have been bats." Said Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) Raul Vega. 

 AGFD is seeking volunteers to participate in a project across Southern Arizona. Volunteers will be asked to monitor their hummingbird feeders two to three times a week for any bat activity. Also, if possible, pictures would be beneficial for species identification. Those willing to participate should contact the project's volunteer coordinator Emily Scobie at escobie@azgfd.gov. Additional information can also be found at the projects official website:  http://www.maranaaz.gov/bats [maranaaz.gov]

In Arizona, there are two nectar-eating bat species: the lesser long-nosed bat and the Mexican long-tongued bat. During summer nights these bats travel in search of nectar-rich food. And now, the species have found their way to Southern Arizona. Typically, the bats receive their nectar from plants like the saguaro and the agave. However, they have found a new love of hummingbird feeders, and this is not the first time in history that this is the case.

In 2006, large numbers of bats were recorded forging hummingbird feeders in the urban areas surrounding Tucson. Research has also shown that the bats have spread as far as Pinal County, and Nogales. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently removed the species from the federal endangered list earlier this year; which means that monitoring the bat activity is essential to controlling population levels. 

Those willing to participate in the project, conducted in partnership with the Town of Marana, should contact this project's Volunteer Coordinator, Emily Scobie of the Arizona Game & Fish Department at escobie@azgfd.gov.

For more information about the project visit http://www.maranaaz.gov/bats

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