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A small, brown, furry bat in a gloved hand.
Information icon Northern long-eared bat caught at Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by USFWS.

Northern long-eared bat on endangered species list

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Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature.

On May fourth, the northern long-eared bat was added to the federal endangered species list as a threatened animal. What makes this listing especially notable, is it’s the first related to the fungal disease white-nose syndrome, which has killed millions of bats in eastern and central North America.

In the United States, the northern long-eared bat is found from Maine to North Carolina on the Atlantic Coast, westward to Oklahoma and north through the Dakotas, reaching into eastern Montana and Wyoming.

Northern long-eared bat populations have declined dramatically in the eastern part of the bat’s range due primarily to white-nose syndrome, a disease that has killed millions of cave-hibernating bats of many species in the United States and Canada.

White-nose syndrome has not yet been detected throughout the entire range of the northern long-eared bat, and the bat appears stable in areas not yet affected by disease, mainly in the western part of its range.

The Service proposed the northern long-eared bat as “endangered” in October 2013 following the severe population declines that have seen the species disappear from some traditional hibernation sites, however in the end, the bat was determined to be threatened, a less-dire status.

For WNCW and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this is Gary Peeples.

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