WAP Works With Leading Bat Experts
To Pursue Protection For The Little Brown Bat
Along with leading
bat experts, WAP has co-authored a formal request to the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to initiate a comprehensive
review of the status of the little brown bat, and to protect
the species under the Endangered Species Act as soon as
possible. Developed in conjunction with Dr. Thomas H. Kunz,
a Professor at Boston University and one of the leading
authorities on bats in the United States, WAP's request
explains that the little brown bat, historically one of
the most widespread bat species in the Northeast, is being
decimated by white-nose syndrome, a fast-spreading, lethal
disease that has already killed millions of bats in the
United States and which Dr. Kunz and other experts say could
wipe out little brown bats within the next two decades.
The request also explains that little brown bats are suffering
from additive sources of mortality, such as impacts by wind
turbines, that must be brought under control if the species
is to survive and recover. In addition to Dr. Kunz and his
Center for Ecology and Conservation Biology at Boston University,
the request for little brown bat protection is also supported
by the Center for Biological Diversity, Bat Conservation
International, and Friends of Blackwater Canyon.
For a copy of the formal
here. For a copy of the press release announcing the
In a further effort to secure protection for the little brown bat and other imperiled species, WAP has submitted comments to the Interior Department criticizing a policy proposed by the Fish and Wildlife Service that would adopt a very narrow rationale for listing as endangered or threatened species that are at grave risk in a major portion of their ranges. The Endangered Species Act requires that species be listed as endangered or threatened when they are imperiled in “all or a significant portion” of their ranges. Under the FWS’s restrictive proposal, a species could only be deemed to be imperiled in a “significant portion” of its range if, without that portion, the entire species would be endangered or threatened. In its comments -- which were also submitted on behalf of Friends of Blackwater Canyon – WAP explains that this approach is contrary to Congress’s intent and the purpose of the ESA, particularly with respect to protecting species that are at risk in major parts of the United States portions of their ranges, and could if adopted lead to the loss of major elements of U.S. biodiversity. WAP’s comments highlight the little brown bat as an example of a species that could potentially be denied necessary protection under such an approach.
For a copy of WAP’s comments, click here.