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Bats

Mist Net Bat Surveys

Mist net bat surveys help identify which bat surveys are present in the project area. This assists operators, agencies and landowners in planning projects and developing resources. Large nets are spread across corridors where bats are suspected to fly through. The nets are checked periodically throughout the night. The bats captured are identified and then set free. The nets are so thin that the bats are not injured. The surveys can be scheduled over a series of nights and locations around the project area. For more information, please contact Monica Smith Griffin at msmith@rsenergysolutions.com

Gray Bats (Myotis grisescens) - Endangered

 

The gray bat was added to the U.S. List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants on April 28, 1976. Gray bats are distinguished from other bats by the unicolored fur on their back. In addition, following their molt in July or August, gray bats have dark gray fur which often bleaches to a chestnut brown or russet. They weigh 7-16 grams. The bat's wing membrane connects to its ankle instead of at the toe, where it is connected in other species of Myotis.

The gray bat occupies a limited geographic range in limestone karst areas of the southeastern United States. They are mainly found in Alabama, northern Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee. A few can be found in northwestern Florida, western Georgia, southeastern Kansas, southern Indiana, southern and southwestern Illinois, northeastern Oklahoma, northeastern Mississippi, western Virginia, and possibly western North Carolina.

Please contact Monica Smith Griffin at msmith@rsenergysolutions.com for more information. 

Indiana Bats (Myotis sodalis) - Endangered

 

The Indiana bat is a small bat with dark gray to blackish, brown fur, found across much of the eastern United States. It is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). It was first listed as a result of large numbers of Indiana bat deaths caused by human disturbance during hibernation. Myotis means “mouse ear” and refers to the relatively small, mouse-like ears of the bats in this group. Sodalis is the Latin word for “companion.” The Indiana bat is a very social species; large numbers cluster together during hibernation. The species is called the Indiana bat because the first specimen described to science in 1928 was based on a specimen found in southern Indiana's Wyandotte Cave in 1904.

The Indiana bat is quite small, weighing only one-quarter of an ounce (about the weight of three pennies). In flight, it has a wingspan of 9 to 11 inches. The fur is dark-brown to black. The Indiana bat is similar in appearance to many other related species. Biologists can distinguish it from similar species by comparing characteristics such as the structure of the foot and color variations in the fur. 

Indiana bats are found over most of the eastern half of the United States. Almost half of all Indiana bats (207,000 in 2005) hibernate in caves in southern Indiana. In 2005, other states which supported populations of over 40,000 included Missouri (65,000), Kentucky (62,000), Illinois (43,000) and New York (42,000). Other states within the current range of the Indiana bat include Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia. The 2005 population estimate is about 457,000 Indiana bats, half as many as when the species was listed as endangered in 1967.

Public lands like National Wildlife Refuges, military areas, and U.S. Forest Service lands are managed for Indiana bats by protecting forests. This means ensuring that there are the size and species of trees needed by Indiana bats for roosting; and providing a supply of dead and dying trees that can be used as roost sites. In addition, caves used for hibernation are managed to maintain suitable conditions for hibernation and eliminate disturbance.

Please contact Monica Smith Griffin at msmith@rsenergysolutions.com for more information. 

Northern Long-Eared Bats (Myotis septentrionalis) - Threatened (effective on May 4, 2015)

The northern long-eared bat is one of the species most impacted by white-nose syndrome. Due to declines caused by white-nose syndrome as well as continued spread of the disease, the Service proposed listing this bat as endangered on October 2, 2013. final listing determination to April 2, 2015.

Section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act directs the Service to issue regulations deemed “necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of threatened species.” It allows the Service to promulgate special rules for species listed as threatened (not endangered) that provide flexibility in implementing the ESA. We use 4(d) rules to target the take prohibitions to those that provide conservation benefits for the species. This targeted approach can reduce ESA conflicts by allowing some activities that do not harm the species to continue, while focusing our efforts on the threats that make a difference to the species’ recovery.

For the northern long-eared bat, the 4(d) rule tailors protections to areas affected by white-nose syndrome during the bat’s most sensitive life stages. The rule is designed to protect the bat while minimizing regulatory requirements for landowners, land managers, government agencies and others within the species’ range.

Please contact Monica Smith Griffin at msmith@rsenergysolutions.com for more information. 

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