Under the endangered species act, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service added the Northern Long-Eared Bat to the list of threatened species in our country. The ruling when into effect in May of this year.
The difference between “threatened” and “endangered” is significant. A threatened species is predicted to become endangered in the foreseeable future; whereas an endangered species is soon to be extinct.
Although not yet facing extinction, this is a sad year for this incredible species, and we should take some time to learn more about Northern Long-Eared bats and why their populations are facing endangerment.
The Northern Long-Eared bat, formally known as Myotis Keenii, is commonly referred to as Northern Myotis or Myotis septentrionalis. It is a small bat native to North America, averaging sizes no more than 3 to 5 inches and weighing no more than an ounce or two. They are primarily found in the Mid to Eastern parts of the country, starting in states like Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, down through the Carolinas and even Alabama, and all the way up to Main and Canada.
Northern Long-Eared bats dwell in caves and wooded forests, roosting in trees during the day and searching for food at night. Being nocturnal, they are mostly active during the dusk, evening, and early morning hours, and then rest during the daytime. After a few days, they switch roosting areas, so they are often in search of new shelter at night as well.
As microbats do, they eat a wide variety of small insects, like moths, mosquitos, beetles, flies, gnats, and more. In the fall they migrate to caves and other similar locations to hibernate for the winter in populations of 100 bats or more. Emerging in March or April, Northern Long-Eared bats then breed and raise their young though the spring and summer.
White-Nose Syndrome is to Blame
One of the conclusions scientists and researchers have come to regarding the downfall of the Northern Long-Eared bat is that disease is the threat. White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) is a common disease that spreads easily and quickly among bat populations, and most all bats are at risk of contracting the illness. This disease seems to be the reason why this species of bat have now become a threatened one.
White-Nose Syndrome is a fungal disease that attacks the bat’s skin. It is caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans and can be detected by a visible white fungal growth around the wings, snouts, and muzzles of bats; hence the moniker. Assumed to come from Europe, this disease is now wide-spread throughout North America and has wiped out over 5 million bats in just the past four years. White-Nose Syndrome can kill up to 98% of a bat population at a time. It is a serious threat to all species of bat, and mammal as well.
Protect Bats and Your Home
It is important to never harm, kill, catch, or trap bats under any circumstances. Not only are they an imperative part of our natural surrounding Eco-system, it is often against the law to do so anyway. If you have a bat in the attic, or bats around your house, it is best to call a professional wildlife removal company for safe and legal assistance. They use non-lethal methods to exclude bats, prevent future bat problems, and relocate bats to a faraway habitat.
Bat Removal Louisville
Call 502-553-7622 for prompt and professional bat removal in Louisville, Kentucky. We are DNR licensed and experienced wildlife rescue and control specialists that only use safe and humane methods of bat exclusion. We offer a wide range of services for residential and commercial properties, including minor structural damage repairs, bat removal and control, bat cleanup, bat proofing, and more. Call 502-553-7622 to learn how to protect bats and your home from bats in Louisville, KY and its surrounding counties.