Don’t miss ‘The Bat Man of Mexico’ which airs on Friday 13th June on BBC2 at 9pm (UK).
A BBC Natural World documentary, narrated by WFN trustee, Sir David Attenborough, tells the story of Whitley Gold Award winner, Rodrigo Medellin, and his dedication to saving the lesser long-nosed bat in Mexico. Described as Mexico’s very own ‘Bat Man’, the documentary follows Rodrigo as he tracks these bats on their epic 1,000 mile migration from Southern Mexico to the US border.
The lesser long-nosedbat is crucial for the production of the famous Mexican liquor, Tequila – being one of the main species that pollinates the agave plant that the drink is made from. Rodrigo aims to highlight the crucial role that bats play in the ecosystem, the services they provide as pollinators and seed dispersers, and the many threats to their survival.
Rodrigo won the Whitley Gold Award in 2012 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the conservation of bats. With his initial Whitley Award in 2004, he expanded his conservation programme from 16 to 25 of Mexico’s 32 States. The success of his work grew and in 2012 Rodrigo established the Latin American Bat Conservation Network (RELCOM) to coordinate the conservation and management of bats across 20 Latin American countries. At RELCOM he collaborates with other scientists including two previous Whitley Award winners, Luis Aguirre and Bernal Rodriguez. Rodrigo and his team continue to have a real and measurable impact on bat conservation working at all levels, from local communities to government.