Published since 1946
FWS Proposes Endangered Listing for Tricolored Bat
On September 13, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced its proposal to list the tricolored bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, largely due to the impacts of white-nose syndrome (WNS). The species has declined by as much as 90% in colonies affected by WNS, and the disease is the primary factor threatening the bat across 59% of its range. Other threats to tricolored bats include loss of roosting, foraging, commuting, and wintering habitats as well as mortality at wind energy facilities. Wind energy development, which currently overlaps with 53% of tricolored bat’s range in the U.S. and is expanding, is also proving to be a “consequential stressor at local and regional levels, especially in combination with impacts from white-nose syndrome.”
“White-nose syndrome is decimating hibernating bat species like the tricolored bat at unprecedented rates,” said FWS Director Martha Williams. “Bats play such an important role in ensuring a healthy ecosystem. The Service is deeply committed to continuing our vital research and collaborative efforts with partners to mitigate further impacts and recover tricolored bat populations.”
The FWS and partners including WMI are working collaboratively to improve research, outreach, and monitoring of bats to address concerns about declines due to WNS and other issues. Through the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat), biologists are developing trend data to more effectively track population dynamics and detect early warning signs of decline. A recent round of WNS grants administered by WMI is supporting specific projects to improve bat monitoring and communication efforts.