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Indiana Bat and Northern Long-eared Bat

Range-wide Consultation and Conservation Strategy under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act for the

Federal Highway Administration and Federal Railroad Administration

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have standardized their approach to assessing impacts to Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats from highway construction and expansion projects; then avoiding, minimizing and mitigating those impacts.

 

 

Consultation Implementation Documents and Information

 

User's Guide (PDF)

Appendix A: Project Submittal Form (PDF)

 

Appendix B: Avoidance and Minimization Measures (PDF)

 

Biological Assessment(PDF)

Appendix B: Bridge Inspection Guidance (PDF)

 

Effects Analysis Summary (Excel Spreadsheet)

 

USFWS Concurrence Letter (PDF)

 

Summer Survey Guidance

 

USFWS Field Office Contacts

 

For USFWS Staff - Webinar on Entering FHWA Consultation in TAILS

Download Powerpoint

PDF Version

 

Indiana bats, an endangered species listed since 1966, are found over most of the Eastern half of the United States.  Northern long-eared bats, recently listed as threatened (April 2, 2015), are found in 37 states from the Atlantic coast westward to eastern Montana and Wyoming.  Section 7(a)(l) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires federal agencies to use their authorities to conserve listed species. Section 7(a)(2) of act requires federal agencies to consult on any action that may affect a listed species.

 

Consultation and mitigation approaches for impacts to Indiana bats from federal projects vary greatly across the 22 states of the bat’s range, and those approaches have been rapidly changing in recent years. Consultation approaches are likely to continue to evolve independently in response to the spread of white-nose syndrome across the species’ range. These variations and changes have caused uncertainty, conflict, delays, and large workloads for the Service, FHWA, and state Departments of Transportation (DOTs).

 

The northern long-eared bat’s range overlaps with the Indiana bat but is even more extensive (all or portions of 37 states), therefore, consultation issues similar to those experienced with the Indiana bat are expected. Consultation approaches for both species are likely to evolve in response to the spread of white-nose syndrome across the species’ ranges.

 

This landscape-level conservation strategy developed by the FHWA and USFWS encompasses the ranges of both bat species and provides transparency and predictability to FHWA and state DOTs through proactive planning. Information provided by this consultation and conservation strategy will allow these agencies to strategically avoid projects in high impact or high risk areas for the Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat. For projects that cannot avoid impacts, project proponents will have the information they need to design projects to minimize impacts, thus avoiding the need to revise projects later in their development. For large-scale projects or projects with greater impacts, priority conservation areas will be identified to offset and minimize the impacts of the take. This approach will increase the consistency of both project design and review, reduce consultation process timeframes, reduce delays, and contribute meaningfully to conservation of both species.

 

In summary, the FHWA and Regions 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Service are collaborating on rangewide consultation and conservation strategies for Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats to help expedite the consultation process related to transportation projects. The strategy includes:

  • proactive conservation measures that are most suited and needed for the conservation of the species,
  • priority areas for mitigation measures,
  • standardized effects analyses with avoidance and minimization measures associated with project types,
  • an informal programmatic consultation covering all states; and
  • a component for future programmatic formal consultations.

For More Information

 

Section 7 and the Consultation Process

 

Endangered Species Act

 

Endangered Species Act policies

 

Indiana bat

 

Northern long-eared bat

.

Project Contacts:

Forest Clark, U.S. Fish and Service Forest_Clark@fws.gov or

Brian Yanchik, Federal Highway Adiminstration Brian.Yanchik@dot.gov.

 

Scope of Work

 

Regional Representatives on the FHWA Indiana Bat Team

 

Forest Clark, FWS Project Lead

Bloomington, Indiana Field Office, 812-334-4261, forest_clark@fws.gov

 

Jessica Hogrefe, Region 3 Representative,

Region 3 Regional Office, Bloomington, MN 612-713-5346, jessica_hogrefe@fws.gov

 

Jerry Ziewitz , Region 4 Representative,

Region 4 ES Field Office, Tallahassee, FL 850-877-6513, jerry_ziewitz@fws.gov

 

Glenn Smith, Region 5 Representative,

Region 5 Regional Office, Hadley, MA, 413-253-8627, glenn_s_smith@fws.gov

 

Catherine Liller, Region 6 Representative,

Region 6 Regional Office, Lakewood, CO, 303-236-4318 catherine_liller@fws.gov

 

 


 

Midwest Endangered Species Home

 

 

Last updated: July 1, 2015