The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) final 4(d) rule, which identifies Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for the northern long-eared bat, went into effect on February 16, 2016. The northern long-eared bat has been protected as a threatened species under the ESA since April 2015 and this rule identifies prohibited activities in an effort to protect the bat’s sensitive life stages in areas affected by white-nose syndrome (WNS).
On April 25, 2016, the FWS announced that a determination was made that a critical habitat for the northern long-eared bat under the ESA was not prudent. When this species was listed as threatened under the ESA in 2015, it was determined that a critical habitat was practical, but not determinable. With additional information and a more in-depth analysis, that determination was re-evaluated and found that designating critical habitat would not benefit the species. To read the full press release, click here.
For more information about the northern long-eared bat and the determination on critical habitat, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s website at www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/mammals/nleb. For more information about white-nose syndrome visit www.whitenosesyndrome.org.