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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
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.
Final Rule (228-page PDF)
Literature Cited in Final Rule (40-page PDF)
WNS Buffer Zone Map (1-page PDF)
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:
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.
Species Profile (Petitions, status reviews and conservation documents)
Northern Long-eared Bat Images on Flickr
White Nose-Syndrome Fact Sheet (June 2014) (2-page PDF )
Bat Box Fact Sheet
Economic Importance of Bats in Agriculture (Science 1 April 11)
Archived Documents and Information Materials from Previous Federal Actions
Section 7 Consultation with Federal Highway Administration
Last updated: April 1, 2015