Northern long-eared bats are amazing little creatures that can eat their own weight in insects each night. But in recent years a terrible disease called white-nose syndrome has been laying waste to whole bat colonies across 26 states and five provinces. In several populations as many as 99 percent of the bats have died.
In response the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service first proposed safeguarding these bats as "endangered" in October 2013. But since then the timber, oil, gas and mining industries have mustered political leaders to their side and painted a picture of economic devastation if full protections came to pass.
Unfortunately, in its recent final rule the Service backpedaled on its plan -- weakening protections and giving logging and other potentially harmful activities a free pass, despite the agency's projection that white-nose syndrome will overrun the bat's entire range in about 10 years.
May 11, 2015 Action Alert ID# 219
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