The long-nosed bat (WATCH THE FULL VIDEO HERE: http://viralmauritius.mu ) and gypsum wild buckwheat may be removed from the list of endangered species, while Kuenzler hedgehog cactus will be downlisted to threatened, according to a US wildlife conservation agency. The move reflects full recovery of the first two species and significant progress with the third, the US Fish and Wildlife Service said. The bat, buckwheat and cactus are all found in the Southwest, a hotspot of biodiversity and a locus for habitat protection and other measures undertaken under the US Endangered Species Act for a host of species. Among these measures, several lesser long-nosed bat maternal colonies in southern Arizona and New Mexico were gated to prevent human disturbance of the springtime homes of thousands of bats, including newborns. In addition, the plants that the bats feed on before migrating to central and southern Mexico were given relief from intensive livestock grazing. Likewise, some of the gravelly soils and rocky outcrops in southeastern New Mexico that provide habitat for Kuenzler hedgehog cactus were also protected, as were almost-barren gypsum soils nearby that support the gypsum wild buckwheat. “The recovery of this amazing flying mammal and these two tenacious plants, along with many other species that recovered over the past eight years, shows the Endangered Species Act is working,” said Michael Robinson, a conservation advocate with the Centre for Biological Diversity in the US. “The Act has saved more than 99 per cent of the creatures and plants placed under its care from extinction. And it is put hundreds more, including the three graduating today, on the road to recovery,” said Robinson. So far 32 species have fully or partially recovered under the administration of the outgoing US President Barack Obama, while another 12 have been proposed as recovered. This means more species were declared recover under Obama than in all past administrations combined. Last year marked a milestone in recovery of endangered species through the Endangered Species Act, with more animal and plant species partially or fully recovered than in any previous year. Eleven species were found to have recovered in 2016, including a Texas plant; four subspecies of island foxes from the Channel Islands; two humpback whale populations; Kentucky’s white-haired goldenrod; Santa Cruz cypress; and Columbian white-tailed deer. Four species were proposed for downlisting or delisting, including black-capped vireos, Yellowstone grizzly bears, Florida manatees and Texas’ Tobusch fishhook cactus. This year alone, in addition to the bat, cactus and buckwheat, a California plant, the Hidden Lake bluecurls, was also found to be recovered and proposed for delisting.