Northern Long-Eared Bat Caught in Mist Net

Northern Long-Eared Bats Impact Infrastructure Projects

Threatened or Endangered? Navigating Effects of the Recent Court Decision on the Northern Long-Eared

White-nose syndrome is a disease that’s fatal to bats, and the northern long-eared bat is one of the species most significantly impacted. The disease has continued to spread, causing the northern long-eared bat to be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act since April 2015. As the bat lives across much of the Eastern U.S. and Canada, efforts to protect it have the potential to impact a broad range of infrastructure projects. 

When the northern long-eared bat was listed under the ESA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service worked to develop a final rule under section 4(d), which was published in the Federal Register, and went into effect in February 2016. However, in January 2020, the District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on a motion that challenged the threatened listing by USFWS in 2016. The motion proposed replacing it with an endangered listing.

See the full history and learn how this impacts energy infrastructure projects.