Conserve Wildlife Blog

Federal Uplisting of the Northern Long-eared Bat

October 7th, 2022

by Meaghan Lyon, Wildlife Biologist

The USFWS recently proposed the uplisting of the Northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) from a threatened to an endangered species. The Northern long-eared bat is in the genus Myotis, identifiable by its small size and long ears. It can be found in forested environments across the northeastern United States and overwintering in caves or mines. This species was first listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2015.

The Northern Long-eared Bat

Many of the Myotis bat populations have been in decline primarily due to the spread of white-nose syndrome. White-nose syndrome is a fungal disease that has spread rapidly among bats since its first observed case in New York in 2006. The Northern long-eared bat population has since declined by 97-100% across the species range.

Other threats that have been observed to Northern long-eared bats include wind energy-related mortality, summer habitat loss, winter habitat loss or disturbance, and climate change.

Since 2018, CWF has partnered with the USFWS New Jersey Field Office to study this species and locate maternity roost trees in the Pine Barrens. Northern long-eared bat numbers are already low, making captures incredibly difficult. In 2021, biologists captured not one, but two, Northern long-eared bats and were able to track one of them to a roost tree. Biologists were happily surprised when emergence survey counts at this roost tree yielded 15 bats, presumably Northern long-eared bats. These efforts help state and federal agencies protect known habitat with bat usage and aid in the recovery of the species.

Federal and state actions have also been taken to try to reduce the spread of white-nose syndrome by implementing closures of caves and mines to reduce disease and disturbance within bat hibernacula.

The official decision on the uplisting of the Northern long-eared bat as an endangered species will be announced in November 2022.

For more information on the Northern long-eared bat, visit the USFWS site page:

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: