In the state of Campeche, on the Yucatán peninsula, is one of the most important natural and archaeological spaces in Mexico: the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. Considered the largest area of ​​tropical forests in America after the Amazon, it is home to the Bat Volcano. It is a cave home to at least two million bats of eight different species and represents one of the largest populations of this animal on the American continent.


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A whirlwind of bats

Sunset sets the tone for the departure and beginning of the show. The bats salion from his cave upwards forming spirals or circles clockwise to search for food They must rise approximately 150 meters to reach the canopy level, that is, the ceiling created by the treetops. This hypnotic ritual forms something similar to a small tornado that lasts between 60 and 90 minutes.

Two male wrinkle-faced bats.
Two male wrinkle-faced bats.

Contrary to popular imagination, most bat species are associated with blood. They feed on fruits and insects. In statements to the Mexican media Televisa, the deputy director of the Calakmul biosphere reserve, Carlos Coutiño, explains that bats fulfill an ecological mission because help control the insect population and when eating fruit they spread the seeds. In addition, they ingest insects that transmit diseases such as Zika, dengue or chikungunya.

Bats eat insects that transmit diseases such as Zika, dengue or Chikungunya.

The Calakmul Biosphere Reserve

Mayan pyramid from the Mayan site of Calakmul, in Campeche, Mexico.
Mayan pyramid from the Mayan site of Calakmul, in Campeche, Mexico.

The Calakmul Biosphere Reserve It is considered the second largest area of ​​tropical forests in America and its southern region has more than 80% of the plant species of the Yucatan Peninsula, 350 species of birds and almost a hundred mammals. In addition, Calakmul is located in the reserve, an important and imposing Mayan archaeological complex. For all these reasons, the Ancient Mayan City and protected Tropical Forests of Calakmul was inscribed as a Mixed Property (cultural and natural) on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014.


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