You Can Save Mexican Bats By Buying Certified Tequila

If you love both tequila and wildlife, you might want to check the bottle of the liquor to see whether it has a “bat-friendly” label on it. By buying bat-friendly tequila you can save the flying mammals.

Tequila is produced in Mexico where the distilled beverage is made from the blue weber agave, which is native to the country. Farmers harvest agave plants just before they bloom, cutting all the leaves off and taking only their pineapple-like trunks. The core of the plant contains a sweet substance that can be fermented into an alcoholic beverage.

Instead of using seeds to grow agave plants, however, many farmers increase their crop yields through growing young plants cloned from their mother plants. The practice might provide some advantages to farmers, yet after many generations, it has generated a rapid loss of genetic diversity because the DNA of cultivated plants is essentially the same.

The lack of genetic variation has led the plants to be vulnerable to diseases. As both seeds and flowers from agave plants have been taken out of plants’ lifecycle, pollinators depending on agave nectar have also ended up worse-off.

These pollinators include the lesser long-nosed bat and the Mexican long-nosed bat, which feed on agave nectar as the main staple of their diet. A lack of flowers on succulent plants has consequently deprived them of vital food sources.