Northern Long-Eared Bat
Help save this endangered species
SAVING THE NORTHERN LONG-EARED BAT
Of the seven species known to be affected by the deadly bat disease white-nose syndrome, the northern long-eared is among the hardest hit. In the U.S. Northeast, where white-nose syndrome has been killing bats for the longest period of time (since 2006), the northern long-eared has declined by a shocking 99 percent.
Because of this species’ strong association with large blocks of older forests, forest fragmentation, logging and forest conversion (such as clearing trees for agriculture and development) are also major threats to the species — not to mention direct human disturbance; industrial wind-energy projects which kill bats that fly into them; environmental contaminants like pesticides and fracking wastewater; and other forms of habitat destruction, such as mining.
Because of these ongoing threats and this bat’s dramatic decline due to white-nose syndrome, the Center petitioned for the northern long-eared bat to be added to the federal list of endangered species in 2010. In 2015 the Service finally placed the bat on the list, but the agency backpedaled from its initial recommendation to protect it as “endangered” instead, granting it the less protective "threatened" status. In addition, the Service issued a special rule exempting nearly all activities harmful to the bat — short of intentional killing — from the normal provisions of the Endangered Act. These exempted activities include logging, oil and gas drilling, mining, and construction of wind energy projects: some of the bat’s greatest threats.