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A small furry bat in a crevice of a cave with patches of white fungus on its face and shoulder.
Information icon A northern-long-eared bat with suspected White Nose Syndrome. Photo by Steve Taylor, University of Illinois.

Bats step closer to endangered species list

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Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature.

White-nose syndrome is a deadly bat disease that has killed more than a million bats in the Eastern United States. Many have asked what this means for the long-term survival of entire species of bats, and we may be beginning to get an idea.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service maintains the federal list of threatened and endangered species. Under the Endangered Species Act, anyone can ask the Service to add a plant or animal to that list, and based on the information they provide and information the Service already has, wildlife biologists may decide to investigate further, possibly deciding to add the species to the list.

The Service has been asked to place the eastern small-footed and northern long-eared bats on the endangered species list, and has concluded that such a move may be warranted.

The eastern small-footed bat occurs from eastern Canada and New England, south to Alabama and Georgia, and west to Oklahoma and are believed to be rare throughout their range. The northern long-eared bat occurs across much of the eastern and north-central United States and across much of Canada, although the species is rarely found in large numbers.

The Service will now spend the next several months researching the status of these bats and the severity of the threats they face, which may lead to the decision to add them to the endangered species list.

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit fws.gov. Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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