Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘White-nose Syndrome’

Northern Long-Eared Bat Protected Under Endangered Species Act

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announced Bat as Threatened, Primarily Due to White-Nose Syndrome

By: Lindsay McNamara, Communications Coordinator

Northern Long-Eared Bat © Lance Risley

Remember back in late November when we wrote a blog encouraging our supporters to help the Northern Long-Eared Bat become listed as an Endangered Species? Thanks to those of you who submitted comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it was announced today that the Northern Long-Eared Bat will be listed as threatened and protected under the Endangered Species Act.

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has cited declines caused by White-Nose Syndrome as well as continued spread of the disease, as the primary threat to the species. Under the protections of the Endangered Species Act, the Northern Long-Eared Bat now has increased priority for funds, grants, and recovery opportunities.

 

Also announced today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued an interim 4(d) rule that will provide maximum protection to the Northern Long-Eared Bat in areas where their populations have drastically declined due to White-Nose Syndrome, but will limit regulatory burden on the public in parts of the country where the bat species is not affected by the disease and the populations are stable. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites the public to comment on this interim rule until July 1, 2015.

 

Learn more about the listing and 4(d) rule:

 

CWF Field Guide: learn more about the Northern Long-eared Bat

 

How Can You Help Protect Northern Long-Eared Bats?

  • Do Not Disturb Hibernating Bats
  • Leave Dead and Dying Trees Standing: Where possible and not a safety hazard, leave dead or dying trees on your property. Northern long-eared bats and many other animals use these trees.
  • Install a Bat Box: Dead and dying trees are usually not left standing, so trees suitable for roosting may be in short supply and bat boxes can provide additional roost sites.
  • Get involved with Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s Bat Project!

 

Lindsay McNamara is the Communications Coordinator for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Photos From the Field: Little Brown Bats in Hibernia Mine

Friday, March 13th, 2015
Data Collected for White-nose Syndrome Research

By: Stephanie Feigin, Wildlife Ecologist 

This week, Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s Wildlife Ecologist Stephanie Feigin went into Hibernia Mine with New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife Endangered Species and Nongame Program (ENSP) Biologist MacKenzie Hall and John Gumbs with BATS Research Center. The group collected data for important research studies on the fungus responsible for White-nose Syndrome (Pseudogymnoascus destructans) and White-nose Syndrome itself. The data will be used in a UC Santa Cruz University study led by Dr. Winifred Frick, as well as a Rutgers University study led by 2014 Women & Wildlife Education Award Winner Dr. Brooke Maslo.

Hibernia Mine (c) Stephanie Feigin

Hibernia Mine (c) Stephanie Feigin

Hibernia Mine Entrence (c) Stephanie Feigin

Hibernia Mine Entrance (c) Stephanie Feigin

Hibernia Mine Entrance from Inside Cave (c) Stephanie Feigin

Hibernia Mine Entrance from Inside Cave (c) Stephanie Feigin

Stalagmites in Hibernia Mine (c) Stephanie Feigin

Stalagmites in Hibernia Mine (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown Bats (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown Bats (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown being swabbed for study (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown being swabbed for study (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown Bat (c) Stephanie Feigin

ENSP Biologist MacKenzie Hall with Little Brown Bat (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown Bats (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown Bats (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown Bat (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown Bat (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown Bat shows significant signs of White Nose Syndrome on wings and nose (c) Stephanie Feigin

Little Brown Bat shows significant signs of White Nose Syndrome on wings and nose (c) Stephanie Feigin

CWF Wildlife Ecologist Stephanie Feigin holding Little Brown Bat (c) Stephanie Feigin

CWF Wildlife Ecologist Stephanie Feigin holding Little Brown Bat (c) Stephanie Feigin

Learn more:

 

Stephanie Feigin is a Wildlife Ecologist for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

 

Help Northern Long-Eared Bats Become Listed as Endangered Species

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

By: Lindsay McNamara, Communications Coordinator

Photo Credit: MacKenzie Hall

Photo Credit: MacKenzie Hall

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reopened the public comment period on a proposal to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Comments will be accepted through Thursday, December 18, 2014.

 

The public is invited to submit comments one of two ways:

(1)  Electronically:  Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov.  In the Search box, enter Docket No. FWS–R5–ES–2011–0024. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”

(2)  By hard copy:  Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to:  Public Comments Processing, Attn:  FWS–R5–ES–2011–0024; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

During the previous comment period, from June 30 to August 29, 2014, USFWS received over 65,800 comments on this issue!

 

Why is it so important?

The Northern Long Eared Bat, like many other bat species in the United States, is in danger of extinction due to White-Nose Syndrome, impacts to hibernacula, summer habitat loss and wind farm operation. Listing a species as endangered, under the protections of the Act, increases the priority of the species for funds, grants, and recovery opportunities.

 

How Else Can You Help Protect Northern Long-Eared Bats?
These tips were pulled from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Northern Long-Eared Bat Fact Sheet:

  • Do Not Disturb Hibernating Bats
  • Leave Dead and Dying Trees Standing: Where possible and not a safety hazard, leave dead or dying trees on your property. Northern long-eared bats and many other animals use these trees.
  • Install a Bat Box: Dead and dying trees are usually not left standing, so trees suitable for roosting may be in short supply and bat boxes can provide additional roost sites.

 

Learn more:

Lindsay McNamara is the Communications Coordinator for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

A Sanctuary for NJ Bats

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

By MacKenzie Hall, Private Lands Biologist

Jackie Kashmer gives water to a bat inside a flight cage at the New Jersey Bat Sanctuary.  Photo by M. Hall

Jackie Kashmer gives water to a bat inside a flight cage at the New Jersey Bat Sanctuary. Photo by M. Hall

Jackie Kashmer is a bat-saving machine.  Surely, no mere mortal is fit for the long, painstaking hours she spends to make the tiny animals well again.  But then, no machine could do it with the grace or heart.  Let me introduce you to the New Jersey Bat Sanctuary.

For six years, Jackie has focused her wildlife rehabilitation practice on bats alone – a decision that’s given her a special understanding of what makes bats tick.  And since all of her patients have similar basic needs, she can provide for them in a consistent and well-oiled way.

Inside the Bat Sanctuary are dark, warm rooms lined with nylon enclosures.  The enclosures have a maternal touch, with patterned cloth drapes, cushiony hand-sewn pouches, and little hollowed logs – all for the bats to nuzzle in and feel safe.  If you stand there with the lights on, the cages look still and empty, their furry occupants tucked away in the unlit spaces.  You hear an occasional chirpy “pz-pz-pzzz.”

But it’s not all darkness and calm.  White-nose Syndrome has changed the pace at the New Jersey Bat Sanctuary.  Last winter, Morris County’s Hibernia Mine was down to fewer than 800 little brown bats (from roughly 27,000 three years ago).  By late February, some bats were moving to the precarious “freeze zone” near the mouth of the cave – a sign that the White-nose fungus was taking hold.  Not wanting to see any more bats die, Mick Valent (NJ Fish and Wildlife) called Jackie about helping the bats at Hibernia.  Jackie said, “Bring me a hundred.  If I can handle a hundred, then I’ll take more.”  A couple weeks later she was boarding and feeding around 125 bats from Hibernia Mine – everyone from the freeze zone. (more…)

Photo from the Field

Thursday, August 12th, 2010
Counting bats or the lack thereof

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

It is clear to me that White-nose syndrome (WNS) has decimated a large portion of the bat population in New Jersey, or at least at a site where I count bats for the Summer Bat Count. In 2008 (before WNS), I counted 261 bats at the Chatsworth General Store in August. Counting bats may seem like a daunting feat, but at dusk (when there is still a little light) the bats fly out of their daytime roosts. Sometimes, 1-2 at a time or in bursts of 3-4 or more. In August 2009, I counted 169 bats at the store. This past Sunday, I only counted 23 bats. To say the least these results are alarming. I hope that at other locations in New Jersey people are still seeing bats and I hope that WNS does not continue to decimate the population.

A photo of the bat houses installed on the Chatsworth General Store where many of the bats roost during the day. Many more used to roost in the attic. This image was captured using a technique referred to as HDR. © Ben Wurst.