The US Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that it will not designate critical habitat for the Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB). This decision has removed an additional hurdle to the development of new or expanded aggregates operations.
The Northern Long-Eared Bat is found in a variety of habitats in the summer, and hibernates in caves and mines across much of the Eastern and Midwestern US during the winter. Its habitat overlaps with the area of the Indiana Bat, which is a concern to many NSSGA members, but extends even further west. In 2015, the bat was listed as an endangered species due to extreme population depletion from a fungal disease, white-nose syndrome.
FWS has rejected the additional step of designating critical habitat because it is not threatened by habitat loss. In fact, the decision notes that many bats are killed due to human interference and vandalism, so designating a habitat would make them more vulnerable. Less than half of the listed endangered species have critical habitats designated.
Adapted from press release by Rebecca Bowden
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/06052016/fws-wont-designate-critical-habitat-for-northern-long-eared-bat-49/