“Bats play an incredibly important role in ecosystems, and protecting them should be of paramount importance. Defenders of Wildlife will continue advocating for this important ESA-listing as the proposal moves forward.”
Citing the ravaging effects of white-nose syndrome, a disease that has killed millions of bats across the country, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced it is proposing to list the tricolored bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The majority of tricolored bat colonies have been hit by the deadly disease, causing die-offs of 90-100 percent across most of its range.
Defenders of Wildlife joined the Center for Biological Diversity and filed a petition seeking protections for this species in 2016.
“Bats play an incredibly important role in ecosystems, and protecting them should be of paramount importance,” said Andrew Carter, senior conservation policy analyst for Defenders of Wildlife. “Defenders of Wildlife will continue advocating for this important ESA-listing as the proposal moves forward.”
Tricolored bats are found in 39 states and D.C. as well as Canada, Mexico and several Central American countries.
According to the FWS it is estimated that bats, including the tricolored bat, contribute more than $3 billion directly to the U.S. economy through pollination and pest control, with other studies citing their impact may in fact be in the tens of billions.
The next step in the listing process will be to review comments and make a final decision on the listing proposal. Defenders of Wildlife will be submitting comments supporting an endangered designation for the species, as well as advocating for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to designate critical habitat for the species which the service has so far said they would not do.
Defenders of Wildlife is celebrating 75 years of protecting all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With a nationwide network of nearly 2.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit defenders.org/newsroom and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.