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Lesser Long Nosed Bat - Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae
Description: The lesser long-nosed bat is a medium sized bat. Adults have yellow-brown or gray fur above, and rusty brown fur below. It has a small tail, small ears, and a triangular noseleaf jutting from the end of its nose.
Habitat: In the US, lesser long-nose bats are typically found in the desert scrub habitat. Roosting occurs in caves, abandoned buildings and mines, usually at the base of mountains where food sources are present.
Range: Much of Leptonycteris curasoae yerbavuenae range occurs in Pima County including several major maternity roosts. It is a migratory species that spends summers in Arizona and New Mexico.
Diet: The lesser long-nosed bat is one of the three North American bats that feeds almost exclusively on fruit and nectar from night-blooming columnar cacti such as saguaro and organ pipe. Agave flowers also play a principal role in the bat's diet. By eating the nectar, pollen, and fruit of these species of plants, the bat is an important pollinator.
The bat is a "keystone mutualist" because of its role as a pollinator. Without the bats to pollinate numerous species of cacti and agave, many fear the desert ecosystem would begin to decline. Protection of the lesser long-nosed bat would contribute to preserving the dominant plant forms of the Sonoran Desert.
Status: On August 30, 1988, the lesser long-nosed bat was listed as endangered throughout Mexico and Arizona.
Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan • Pima County Administrator’s Office • 130 West Congress, 10th floor, Tucson, AZ 85701-1317 • Phone: 520-740-8661 •