Bats & Tequila: A Once Boo-tiful Relationship Cursed By Growing Demands

"At a Halloween happy hour recently in Washington, D.C., a small crowd gathered to celebrate the relationship between bats and spirits.

Not spooky spirits. Instead, think tequila and mescal.

'We're here at a bar tonight to talk about [bats], because they are intimately tied to agave,' announced Mike Daulton, the executive director of Bat Conservation International, a nonprofit devoted to the well-being of bats.

You can't have tequila without agave, the spiky desert plant used as its base. And it's hard to have agave without bats — because a few species of these winged creatures are the plant's primary pollinators. Agave co-evolved with bats over thousands of years. As a result, it's one of the very few plants that pollinates at night. Daulton says industrial agave farming adversely affects both plants and bats."

Neda Ulaby reports for NPR's  Weekend Edition October 29, 2017.

Source: NPR, 10/30/2017