Review Finds Two Bat Species May Warrant Endangered Species Status
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have announced that the eastern small-footed and northern long-eared bats may indeed warrant federal protection as threatened or endangered species, after an an initial review of a petition received in January, 2010 from the Center for Biological Diversity requesting to protect both species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
The argument of the petition is that the continued existence of one or both of these species may be threatened by a number of factors such as habitat destruction and degradation, disturbance of hibernation areas and maternity roosts, and white-nose syndrome.
The eastern small-footed bat occurs from eastern Canada and New England south to Alabama and Georgia and west to Oklahoma. Eastern small-footed bats are believed to be rare throughout their range, although they are more common in the northern than in the southern United States.
The northern long-eared bat occurs across much of the eastern and north-central United States and across all Canadian provinces west to the southern Northwest Territories and eastern British Columbia, although the species is variably distributed and rarely found in large numbers.
The next step is to initiate a thorough review of both bats to determine whether these species fit the critera to be added to the list of federal endagered and threatened wildlife. This thorough review will examine information on distribution, status, population size or trends, life history and threats.
Comments may be submitted until August 29, 2011 via the Federal eRulemaking Portal, Docket No. [FWS–R5–ES–2011–0024], or by mail to Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. [FWS–R5–ES–2011–0024]; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.
Review Finds Endangered Species Protection May Be Warranted for Two Bat Species [U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service]