Feds Will Consider Adding Bats To Endangered List

06/28/11 5:04PM By Neal Charnoff

AP/New York Department of Environmental Conservation/Al Hicks
Bats hibernate in a New York state cave.

(Host) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will consider protecting two species of bats that have been threatened by "white nose syndrome."

That's a disease that has quickly spread through many bat species and killed more than one million animals.

The Wildlife Service says it will consider adding the eastern small-footed and northern long-eared bats to its list of endangered species.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to have the two species of bats placed under federal protection.

Mollie Matteson is with the Center, which is based in Richmond.

Matteson says the bats' survival might hinge on whether they're covered by the Endangered Species Act.  

(Matteson)  "They will therefore receive the full protections of the act, including greater funding for management actions to protect them, greater scrutiny when any federal actions may affect those species in a negative way and all the other protections that go along with listing."

(Host) Matteson says that the Fish and Wildlife agency will spend the next 12 months reviewing whether the two species warrant federal protection.

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