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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Endangered Species program is conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems.
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Northern Long-eared Bat
Below is a chronological list of previous Federal Register publications, with associated information materials, and other actions pertaining to the Endangered Species Act status of the northern long-eared bat.
Critical Habitat Determination Not Prudent (April 27, 2016)
We have determined that designating critical habitat for the northern long-eared bat is not prudent. Northern long-eared bat summer habitat is not limited or in short supply and summer habitat loss is not a range-wide threat to the species. Designating critical habitat in the areas where it summers would not benefit the northern long-eared bat, and therefore, would not be prudent. Winter habitat does have specific physical and biological features that are essential to the conservation of the species, and, therefore, meets the definition of critical habitat. However, information became available demonstrating that designating critical habitat would likely increase vandalism, disturbance, and, potentially, the spread of white-nose syndrome in the caves and mines where northern long-eared bats hibernate. Therefore, we determined that it is not prudent to designate winter habitat as critical habitat.
Section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act directs the Service to issue regulations deemed “necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of threatened species.” It allows the Service to promulgate special rules for species listed as threatened (not endangered) that provide flexibility in implementing the ESA. We use 4(d) rules to target the take prohibitions to those that provide conservation benefits for the species. This targeted approach can reduce ESA conflicts by allowing some activities that do not harm the species to continue, while focusing our efforts on the threats that make a difference to the species’ recovery.
April 2, 2015: Northern Long-Eared Bat Listed as Threatened with an Interim 4(d) Rule
Final Rule (61-page PDF)
Literature Cited in Final Rule (40-page PDF)
January 15, 2015: Proposed 4(d) Rule and Comment Period Re-opened
News Release (Jan. 15, 2015): 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
Federal Register Proposed Rule: Listing the Northern Long-eared Bat With a Rule Under Section 4(d) of the Act
Proposed 4(d) Rule for the Northern Long-eared Bat: Questions and Answers
November 18, 2014: Comment Period Re-Opened
News Release (Nov. 18 2014): U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Reopens Comment Period On Proposal to List the Northern Long-eared Bat as Endangered
Questions and Answers: Re-opening Comment Period on the Proposal to List Northern Long-eared Bat as Endangered
Federal Register (Nov. 17, 2014): Re-opening Comment Period on Proposed Endangered Status for the Northern Long-Eared Bat (2-Page PDF) This is the public inspection version of the Federal Register Notice. The publish version will be posted Nov. 18.
Webcast Northern Long-eared Bat Public Information Session We held three public information webcasts in August 2014 to provide information and answer questions about our proposal to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
August 2014: Public Information Sessions on Proposal to List
August 13, 2014
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold three public information webcasts in August to provide information and answer questions about our proposal to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Webcasts will be Tuesday, August 19, at 1 p.m. Eastern; Wednesday, August 20, at 4 p.m. Eastern; and Thursday, August 21, at 7 p.m. Eastern.
People can join the 1-hour information sessions by calling a toll-free number and joining a web conference to view a presentation and participate in a facilitated question-and-answer session.
Watch the video of the recorded presentation:
A notice for a six-month extension for the final listing determination on the northern long-eared bat published in the Federal Register on June 30, 2014. We also reopened the comment period on the proposal to list the bat as endangered; the 60-day comment period ended on August 29, 2014.
News Release (June 30, 2014): Service Reopens Comment Period on Proposal to List the Northern Long-eared Bat as an Endangered Species
Federal Register (June 30, 2014): 6-Month Extension of Final Determination on the Proposed Endangered Status for the Northern Long-Eared Bat (2-Page PDF)
January 6, 2014: Interim Conference Guidance
Northern Long-eared Bat Interim Conference and Planning Guidance (Jan. 6, 2014) 67-page PDF; 1.2MB - -
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service developed the Interim Conference Guidance in response to questions we received from a variety of partners, particularly federal agencies, which have specific responsibilities under Section 7 of the ESA. The guidance provides a consistent source and assessment of the scientific information available for the northern long-eared bat and does not impose or require restrictions on projects. The guidance provides advice and a suite of voluntary conservation options that project planners may consider. It was intended to be used primarily by federal agencies during the time that this bat is proposed for listing, although the guidance also provides voluntary suggestions for non-federal entities. The conservation measures identified in the guidance will not become blanket requirements if the northern long-eared bat is listed as endangered. Instead, the conservation measures we presented provide a list of possible conservation options that may be used, depending on site specific conditions, to minimize impacts to the bat and its habitat.
October 2, 2013: Northern Long-Eared Bat Proposed as Endangered
News Release (Nov. 26, 2013): U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Extends Comment Period on Proposal to List the Northern Long-eared Bat as Endangered
Federal Register Proposed Rule (October 2, 2013): 12-Month Finding on a Petition to List the Eastern Small-Footed Bat and the Northern Long-Eared Bat as Endangered or Threatened Species; Listing the Northern Long-Eared Bat as an Endangered Species (36-page PDF )
Literature Cited: Literature Cited in Proposed Rule to List Northern Long-eared Bat as Endangered (22-page PDF)