To: Journey North
From: Ginny Dalton, Bat Biologist
The first wave of lesser long-nosed bats has reached Kino Bay, Sonora, Mexico! According to Dr. Ted Fleming, 600 bats were in the Kino Bay roost last week. Dr. Fleming counted the bats as they emerged from the bat cave about one hour after sunset. They emerge at night to forage on the flowers of the columnar cactus which are just starting to bloom in the vicinity of the cave.
Researchers do not enter the caves to count the bats because it disturbs the animals too much. Instead, they sit quietly by the entrance and watch the bats backlit against the night sky. If the cave entrance is not suitable for viewing bats against the sky, researchers then use night vision equipment to amplify the available light. After most of the bats have exited the cave, they capture a few at the entrance so they can determine their age, sex and reproductive condition. The majority of bats in this colony are females, most of whom are pregrant. They will give birth to their babies in about two months.(Pregnancy for Leptos lasts about 2 months.)
Dr. Fleming has been studying these bats with various colleagues and students since 1989. Dr. Fleming has been studying plant-visiting bats for 25 years, with over 50 scientific papers and two books to his credit.In 1991, he wrote the first draft "recovery plan" for these species. (A recovery plan is a document scientists write in which they describe how an endangered species can best be protected.) He is a professor of Biology at the University of Miami.
Dr. Fleming has been trying to determine the relationship of the bats to the plants they eat and pollinate.
Among the questions he is asking are these:
* How dependent are the plants and bats upon one another?
* How much foraging territory does a colony of bats require?
* How much energy is provided by these plants?
* How much energy does it take for a bat to live and reproduce?
Over the next weeks I will explore the same questions with you. But first, you'll need to do some research before next week's report--and answer the Challenge Question:
Challenge Question # 98
"How many calories does the average woman require in a day?
"How many calories are in xx ml of Coke?"
How to respond to Challenge Question # 98:
1. Address an e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. In the Subject line write: Challenge Question # 98
3. In the Body of the message answer the questions.
The Next Lesser Long-nosed Bat Migration Update Will be Posted on May 2, 1996.