Local experts hope federal listing will help save endangered bat

Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 2:12 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Local wildlife experts are hopeful that this week’s addition of the northern long-eared bat to the endangered species list will improve its chances of survival.

The Biden administration on Tuesday made a last-ditch effort to save the species that has been driven to the brink of extinction by white-nose syndrome.

The bat has been in decline in Vermont for over a decade and has had state-designated endangered status since 2011. The population has declined over 95% since the fungal disease was identified in 2009 and there is no indication it is abating.

Retired University of Vermont biology professor Bill Kilpatrick says the northern long-eared bat used to be the second most common bat species in Vermont, and so the federal designation should be helpful. “Will provide additional funding that should be available through state agencies and researchers with universities, academic institutions to try to find ways of conserving this particular species,” he said.

Kilpatrick says the listing will also trigger regulations when working around the bats’ preferred habitat.

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