Tequila might have saved this endangered bat species

Raise your glass for the lesser long-nosed bat: You might have him to thank for the tequila in your margarita.

Agave nectar, the night-blooming plant that tequila is made of, is one of the pollinator’s favorite treats. But the bat might want to thank tequila, too, as its manufacturing process is helping the species return from the brink of extinction.

Increased awareness about the species led to a rise in bat-friendly tequila producers who allow their agave to bloom naturally rather than harvest the blossoms prematurely. An estimated 200,000 bats have recovered, prompting the possible delisting of the species in 2017, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service statement released last week.

If that happens, it will be a win all around: Bats pollinate the plants and forage for nectar while the farmers get healthy, more diverse crops. Take a shot to that!

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