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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes reclassifying northern long-eared bat as endangered

Northern long-eared Bat
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Digital Library

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a proposal Tuesday to reclassify the northern long-eared bat as endangered. PRE’s Meredith Radford has more.

The northern long-eared bat can be found across the eastern and north-central United States, including much of Eastern North Carolina. It faces extinction due to white-nose syndrome, a deadly fungal disease that affects cave-dwelling bats.

White-nose syndrome has spread to about 80% of the bat species’ range, and nearly all its U.S. range since it was listed as threatened in 2015.

According to a news release, bats are critical to healthy, functioning ecosystems and contribute at least $3 billion annually to the U.S. agriculture economy through pest control and pollination.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is holding a virtual public information meeting on April 7 and public comments can be submitted through May 23rd.

For Public Radio East, I’m Meredith Radford.

Meredith Radford is a News Reporter for Public Radio East. She studied at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, receiving a degree in Journalism and Political Science. Born and raised in Eastern North Carolina, Meredith is excited to cover the area and contribute to the community. When not out reporting, she enjoys hiking, camping and kayaking as well as baking.