Watch as Garth Brooks Unveils The Secret Lives of Big Bend Bats in this EXCLUSIVE Clip from ‘America’s National Parks’

by Jon D. B.
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National Geographic‘s premiere series on America’s national parks is heading to Big Bend tonight, and Garth Brooks is narrating the Texas trip. Get a first listen, alongside incredible new footage of the park’s bats, in our exclusive clip ahead of tonight’s episode.

As part of filming America’s National Parks, crews led by EP Anwar Mamon spent over a year in Big Bend National Park. There, they were able to capture a magnificent relationship only seen by a handful of scientists beforehand. Now, the entire world can watch as Garth Brooks narrates.

“Of all the creatures that visit the agave” in Big Bend, Brooks begins, “there is one that spreads more pollen to more agave plants than any other pollinator: the Mexican long-nosed bat.”

In NatGeo‘s night-shot footage, the episode highlights the long-nosed bats as they use traits the species has evolved specifically to feed on agave flower nectar.

“The bats’ long nose and tongue fit the flowers like a glove,” Brooks explains. “The agave and bat have evolved together for thousands of years. They depend on each other for survival – and Big Bend National Park for protection.” Take a look:

America’s National Parks” premieres August 29 at 9/8c on National Geographic over five consecutive nights.

NatGeo

Garth Brooks Highlights the Incredible Species of Big Bend National Park

“Flying almost 800-miles from central Mexico,” the long-nosed bats “spend the summer feeding on the agave in Big Bend National Park. Until now, this ancient exchange has only been witnessed by a handful of scientists,” Brooks continues.

It’s a fascinating relationship; one that highlights the importance of the National Park Service’s conservation efforts. Without it, these endangered bats would be extinct. And without the bats, the agave would soon perish, too.

Mexican long-nosed bats were listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1988. According to Arizona’s Desert Museum, “maternity roost disturbance and effects of habitat loss are the primary threats for these bats.”

Bats are of utmost importance in the Texas national park. In fact, there are more bat species in Big Bend National Park than any other mammal. Today, Mexican long-nosed bat are found nowhere else in the United States. Here, they are limited to a single colony that resides in the park’s Chisos Mountains. And come the blooming of specific plants like the century plant (Agave havardiana), their incredible migration south into Latin America begins.

Thanks to the ongoing efforts of Big Bend and American conservationists, the park is hoping for a slow-but-steady comeback. Alongside the bats, the agave can then thrive as they have for thousands of years; something Garth Brooks touches on further in the full episode.

Catch the full Big Bed episode of America’s National Parks tonight, Wednesday, Aug. 31, at 9/8c on National Geographic. Disney+ subscribers can also catch the episode, and further narration from Brooks, tonight.

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