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Northern Long-Eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis)


Service Protects Northern Long-eared Bat as Threatened Species under Endangered Species Act with Interim 4(d) Rule

Northern long-eared bat showing symptoms of white-nose syndrome.

Photo by Steve Taylor; University of Illinois


Status: Threatened: April 2, 2015


Habitat: Hibernates in caves and mines - swarming in surrounding wooded areas in autumn. During late spring and summer roosts and forages in upland forests.


Lead Region: 3


Region 3 Lead Office: Twin Cities Field Office


Range: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.


Summer Survey Guidance - the Indiana bat 2015 Summer Survey Guidance can be used for northern long-eared bat presence/probable absence surveys for the 2015 field season.


WNS Buffer Zone Map


Fact Sheet


The northern long-eared bat is one of the species of bats most impacted by the disease white-nose syndrome. Due to declines caused by white-nose syndrome as well as continued spread of the disease, the northern long-eared bat will now receive protection as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.


The Service proposed the northern long-eared bat as endangered in October 2013.  During review of the threats, we determined the northern long-eared bat meets the Endangered Species Act’s definition of threatened. Under the Act, a threatened species is likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future, while an endangered species is currently in danger of becoming extinct.  


The listing becomes effective on May 4, 2015, 30 days after publication of the final listing determination in the Federal Register.

Also effective May 4 is an interim 4(d) rule that provides flexibility to landowners, land managers, government agencies and others as they conduct activities in northern long-eared bat habitat.  Given the significant number of comments received in response to the 4(d) rule as proposed on January 15, 2015, we also opened a 90-day comment and will accept further input on the interim rule through July 1, 2015.


News Release


FAQs about Listing


FAQs about Interim 4(d) Rule


Final Rule (61-page PDFAdobe PDF Icon)


Literature Cited in Final Rule (40-page PDFAdobe PDF Icon)


Do I Need A Permit? Key to Interim 4(d) Rule


WNS Buffer Zone Map (1-page PDFAdobe PDF Icon)


Counties in WNS Buffer Zone (Excel Spreadsheet)


How to Comment on Interim 4(d) Rule

The comment period on the interim 4(d) rule is open from April 2 to July 1, 2015. You may submit comments by one of the following methods:


(1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS–R5–ES–2011–0024, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”


(2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to:


Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R5–ES–2011–0024

Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC;

5275 Leesburg Pike

Falls Church, VA 22041–3803


We request that you send comments only by one of the methods described above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us. Deadline for comments is July 1, 2015.


About Northern Long-eared Bats

The northern long-eared bat is found in the United States from Maine to North Carolina on the Atlantic Coast, westward to eastern Oklahoma and north through the Dakotas, even reaching into eastern Montana and Wyoming. In Canada it is found from the Atlantic Coast westward to the southern Yukon Territory and eastern British Columbia.


Range Map


Fact Sheet


Species Profile (Petitions, status reviews and conservation documents)


Northern Long-eared Bat Images on Flickr



About Bats


White-nose Syndrome. org: A Coordinated Response to the Devastating Bat Disease


White Nose-Syndrome Fact Sheet (June 2014) (2-page PDF )


Bat Box Fact Sheet

Minnesota | Indiana | Wisconsin


Economic Importance of Bats in Agriculture (Science 1 April 11)


Section 7 Consultation

Summer Survey Guidance - The Indiana bat 2015 Summer Survey Guidance can be used for northern long-eared bat presence/probable absence surveys for the 2015 field season.


Section 7 Consultation with Federal Highway Administration




Archived Documents and Information Materials from Previous Federal Actions


Northern Long-eared Bat Archives

Indiana Bat Home

Midwest Endangered Species Home

National Endangered Species Home


Last updated: April 16, 2015