Florida bonneted bats (Eumops floridanus) play a critical role in south Florida ecosystems, but deforestation and urban expansion have pushed them to the brink.
Revive & Restore is collaborating with biologists at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to assess genetic diversity within the bat’s population and biobank cells to preserve their genetic diversity before it is too late.
About the project
The Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus) is a critically endangered bat species found only in southern Florida. It is one of the largest bat species in North America, with a wingspan of 20 inches. Florida bonneted bats play important roles in south Florida ecosystems, including reducing mosquito and crop pest populations.
Florida bonneted bats typically roost in tall, mature trees. These roosting sites provide important spaces for rest, social interaction, mating, and protection. However, wide-scale deforestation and urban expansion across Florida have led to the loss of roosting sites, suitable foraging areas, and historic flight paths.
Today, in addition to strategies for habitat restoration, scientists are working to better understand the ecology, behavior, and population dynamics of this rare and elusive bat species. To further these efforts, Revive & Restore is working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologists to assess genetic diversity within the bat’s population and biobank cells to preserve their genetic diversity before it is too late.
Biobanking samples to enable conservation decisions today and future recovery strategies
By studying the Florida bonneted bat’s genetics, scientists can identify areas where the population is most at-risk of extinction and take measures to protect them.
In addition to biobanking cells to protect their genetic diversity, Revive & Restore is generating a high-quality reference genome to help scientists assess the genetic diversity within the bat’s population. Information about the bat’s DNA, in combination with banking samples, will provide further resources for researchers to make informed decisions about breeding programs, habitat management, and other actions that ensure the Florida bonneted bat’s survival.
The Florida bonneted bat’s genome will be freely available to the scientific community for conservation research. Biobanked cells will be owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.