Twin Cities Ecological Services Field Office

Midwest Region

 

 

Twin Cities Field Office
4101 American Boulevard East
Bloomington, MN 55425
Phone: 612-725-3548
Fax: 612-725-3609
TTY: 1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay)

e-mail: TwinCities@fws.gov

 


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Feature Story

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Special
Rule to Focus Protections for
Northern Long-Eared Bat:

Rule Would Apply if Species is Listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act

Northern long-eared bats hibernating in a cave in Missouri.

Northern long-eared bats hibernating in a cave in Missouri.

Photo Courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation

 

January 15, 2015

In response to the rapid and severe decline of the northern long-eared bat – a species important for crop pest control – the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a special rule under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that would provide the maximum benefit to the species while limiting the regulatory burden on the public.

 

If finalized, the rule, under section 4(d) of the ESA, would apply only in the event the Service lists the bat as “threatened.” The Service’s proposal will appear in the Federal Register Jan. 16, 2015, opening a 60-day public comment period.

 

“White-nose syndrome is having a devastating effect on the nation’s bat populations, which play a vital role in sustaining a healthy environment and save billions of dollars by controlling forest and agricultural pests,” said Service Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius. “We need to do what we can to make sure we are putting commonsense protections in place that support vulnerable bat species but are targeted to minimize impact on human activities. Through this proposed 4(d) rule, we are seeking public comment on how we can use the flexibilities inherent in the ESA to protect the bat and economic activity.”

 

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Last updated: January 15, 2015