Bats are nocturnal animals usually misunderstood and unfairly hated or feared. However, their role in nature is of utmost importance for the health of ecosystems and therefore for the well-being of human life. In the world, there are more than 1300 species of bats and Mexico is home to 138 of them: about 10% of the world’s diversity.
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For the third time in 48 years, the North American Society for Bat Research (NASBR, for its acronym in English) is congregated in our country. From October 24 to 27, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, national and international bat scientists present research and projects on different topics such as ecology, morphology, genomics, monitoring techniques, animal communication and conservation of the bat.
The CONANP highlighted the diversity of bats in Mexico, which within 12 Protected Natural Areas offer ecosystem services that provide such as pollination, pest control, and seed dispersal, among the actions it takes to conserve these small winged mammals.
Reiterating the commitment expressed at the beginning of 2018, the Cueva de la Boca Sanctuary in Monterrey could be a reality before the current administration ends.
This cave houses a population of about 3 million guano bats (Tadarida brasiliensis), which feed on insects every night. The environmental services provided by this population of insectivorous bats are of great benefit to the communities and producers of the region, because, by feeding on large numbers of insects, they control their populations and avoid pests. By conserving this population, you will be saving many tons of insecticides that would otherwise reach the natural environment and human food chain to try to eliminate various agricultural pests.
In addition to the size of this colony and the ecosystem services that bats offer, La Boca cave is a priority refuge for the conservation of this species because females use it in summer for reproductive purposes, as well as during the development and growth of their species. Offspring become independent of their mother within 12 weeks.
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In order to disseminate and show people the importance of these mammals in ecosystems, NASBR and CONANP intend to bring to the public the knowledge generated from the study of bats, through an exhibition displayed on the Malecon.
By decreeing as a federal protected natural area, the Cueva de la Boca Sanctuary ensures the protection of a bat colony that benefits both humans and the ecosystem on a daily basis. In addition, this decree is an incomparable instrument for environmental education, both for the local population and the residents of Monterrey, because the La Boca cave is located a few kilometers from the city of Monterrey.