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USFWS Publishing Proposed Rule to Up-list the Species

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has proposed to up-list the northern long-eared bat (NLEB) from threatened to endangered status, citing white-nose syndrome as the primary factor influencing the species’ viability. This up-listing would remove the 4(d) rule, which to date has narrowed the scope of take prohibition to certain specific circumstances. For example, the 4(d) rule allows tree clearing without the need for USFWS take authorization unless it occurs within 150 feet of a known roost tree or 0.25 mile of a known hibernaculum. The 4(d) rule also offers a streamlined approach for completing interagency consultations. These and all other components of the 4(d) rule would no longer apply once the species is listed as endangered. If finalized, the NLEB would receive full protection under the Endangered Species Act. Finally, it is anticipated that the 2022 USFWS Range-Wide Survey Guidelines will include NLEB-specific survey recommendations.

Range map of the northern long-eared bat

Our Team is Here for You!

It generally takes a year to transition from a proposed rule to a final rule. SWCA’s bat biologists and Endangered Species Act compliance teams are ready to help you understand how this news may affect you and your projects. Please reach out to aaurora [at] swca [dot] com (subject: Northern%20Long-Eared%20Bat%20Proposed%20Endangered) (Amanda Aurora) or dcarson [at] swca [dot] com (subject: Northern%20Long-Eared%20Bat%20Proposed%20Endangered) (Drew Carson) today if you find yourself in need of assistance with USFWS coordination, submitting comments, evaluating risk of incidental take, conducting NLEB surveys, or preparing new compliance strategies.