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Working to Save America's Rarest Bat - the Florida Bonneted Bat

MIAMI, FL (December 6, 2018) – Bat Conservation International (BCI) and Zoo Miami announced today a new aggressive multi-faceted campaign to save the Florida bonneted bat, America’s rarest bat. Funding for the conservation effort is made possible by NextEra Energy, the parent company of Florida Power & Light Company (FPL). The funds will enable BCI and Zoo Miami to develop a regional bat lab focused on understanding the species’ needs in urban environments and providing on-the-ground conservation projects to ensure long-term sustainable population growth for this rare bat species.

Native to South Florida, the bat’s small population size and shrinking habitat have prompted multiple organizations to come together for a conservation plan of action. The bat is the largest species found in Florida and derives its name from large ears that extend out over its head similar to a bonnet.

As part of the conservation efforts of the species, BCI is working closely with Zoo Miami scientists to construct specially designed bat houses. These custom-made bat boxes were strategically placed throughout the South Florida region as part of a longer-term goal of creating safe homes for the Florida bonneted bats. The boxes are affixed to 35-foot hurricane-resistant poles donated by FPL. They were placed at various preserves, Miami-Dade County parks, and a golf course were Florida bonneted bats are known to forage at night.

Additional conservation efforts include monitoring the health of the bats, community outreach and awareness, discovering what insects are important prey, and using citizen-scientist data to better understand the bat’s range in the urban landscape.

“Protecting endangered species with limited ranges such as the Florida bonneted bat are vitally important efforts in preserving the natural diversity of our world,” said Mylea Bayless, BCI’s Senior Director, Network and Partnerships. “This project would not happen without the support of NextEra and expertise from Zoo Miami. We’re confident we’re taking steps to improve the survival and habitat for one of the rarest bats in America.”

“We are fortunate to have organizations like BCI and Zoo Miami working to protect and preserve extraordinary species, like the bonneted bat,” said Mike Sole, Vice President of Environmental Services at NextEra Energy. “We are pleased to be able to partner with these organizations to develop ways to better protect this unique species of bat.”

“This special bat has managed to persist while its ecosystem rapidly changed in the last century. This new partnership is going to allow us to discover what it needs in South Florida to not only survive but hopefully thrive into the next century,” said Dr. Frank Ridgley of Zoo Miami’s Conservation and Research Department.

 

About Bat Conservation International

The mission of Bat Conservation International is to conserve the world’s bats and their ecosystems to ensure a healthy planet. For more information visit batcon.org.

Media Contact: Javier Folgar
Bat Conservation International
Tel: 512.327.9721 ext. 410
Email: jfolgar@batcon.org

 

About NextEra Energy

NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE) is a leading clean energy company with consolidated revenues of approximately $17.2 billion, operates approximately 46,790 megawatts of net generating capacity and employs approximately 14,000 people in 33 states and Canada as of year-end 2017. Headquartered in Juno Beach, Florida, NextEra Energy's principal subsidiaries are Florida Power & Light Company, which serves approximately 5 million customer accounts in Florida and is one of the largest rate-regulated electric utilities in the United States, and NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage. Through its subsidiaries, NextEra Energy generates clean, emissions-free electricity from eight commercial nuclear power units in Florida, New Hampshire, Iowa and Wisconsin. A Fortune 200 company and included in the S&P 100 index, NextEra Energy has been recognized often by third parties for its efforts in sustainability, corporate responsibility, ethics and compliance, and diversity. NextEra Energy is ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry on Fortune's 2018 list of "World's Most Admired Companies" and ranked among the top 25 on Fortune's 2018 list of companies that "Change the World." For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.comwww.FPL.comwww.NextEraEnergyResources.com.

Media Contact: Devaney Iglesias
Florida Power & Light
Tel: 561-694-4586
Email: devaney.iglesias@fpl.com

 

About Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami’s mission is to encourage an appreciation for the world's wildlife and to help conserve it for future generations.

Media Contact: Ron Magill
Zoo Goodwill Ambassador/Communications Director
12400 SW 152 Street
Miami, FL  33177
305-251-0400, ext. 5084916
Email: Ron.Magill@miamidade.gov

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