Twenty-four conservation groups, including ABRA, have voiced strong support to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for the agency to finalize designating the northern long-eared bat as an endangered species. The groups’ May 23 letter to FWS, sent on their behalf by the Southern Environmental Law Center, said:
The northern long-eared bat has long warranted protection as an endangered, rather than merely threatened, species. In the short time since the species was listed as threatened, its population numbers have continued to decline precipitously, including in the southernmost portions of its range. As highlighted in our below comments, southern populations of northern long-eared bats face increasing pressures from habitat destruction and climate change, which will further compound recovery efforts in our region. At the same time, there are promising signs that some populations in warmer climates, such as the Southern United States, may be better able to withstand white nose syndrome, underscoring the importance of protecting populations in our region. Our groups urge the Service to expeditiously issue a final rule reclassifying the northern long-eared bat as endangered and work to recover the species throughout its range, including in the South.
For a copy of the groups’ letter, click here.