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Lesser long-nosed bat

These adorable winged mammals—vital to pollinating the agave that’s used to make tequila—were declared endangered in 1998, thanks to habitat loss and eradication programs meant to target rabies-carrying vampire bats, according to National Geographic.

But 29 years later, this became the first species ever removed from the U.S. endangered species list; protections for the caves and mines where the bats live, both here and in Mexico, restored their numbers, and an estimated 200,000 of them now flit through the night skies.

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