Migration pattern and population genetic structure of the lesser long-nosed bat in Arizona and Mexico

Judith Ramirez

The lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae) is a nectarivore and is one of only five bats in North America that is able to migrate up to 1,500 km between wintering and breeding grounds.  There are two possible migration corridors: bats that occupy southeastern Arizona roosts arrive in July through the inland panniculate agave corridor and bats that occupy the southwestern Arizona maternity roosts are more likely to arrive and depart through the coastal lowland Mexico corridor, rather than moving between corridors. However, it has been suggested that there may be a connection between the southwestern and the southeastern Arizona roosts which could indicate that bats are moving between the two proposed migration corridors. The objectives for this project are to develop novel microsatellite DNA markers for the lesser long-nosed bat, and use these markers to determine if significant gene flow occurs between southwestern and southeastern Arizona roosts as well as throughout the migratory corridor between Mexico and the United States, and to inform local people and other biologists about the lesser long-nosed bat.