Target: Dan Ashe, Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
Goal: Obtain endangered status for the northern long-eared bat.
The northern long-eared bat has experienced serious population declines since the appearance of the disease known as white-nose syndrome. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently labeled this species as threatened, but this status needs to be upgraded to endangered so that we may actively prevent the extinction of these bats.
The northern long-eared bat is one of six bat species that have been impacted by the white-nose syndrome epidemic. Since the arrival of this disease in North America in 2006, the long-eared bat has been the hardest hit of all the different bat species, with its population declining 98 percent. Despite this huge drop in their numbers, the USFWS has only granted this species a threatened status, which is not nearly as protective of a species as placing them on the endangered list. With this status, the USFWS is still allowing certain practices that are detrimental to the survival of these bats to occur, such as logging, oil and gas drilling, and mining.
While the threatened status is a step in the right direction, it is simply not enough to protect these bats and their natural habitats. By allowing destructive operations to continue in the forests where these bats live, we are risking their eventual extinction, especially since a cure for white-nose syndrome has not yet been found and the disease still killing these bats off at a rate of 90-100 percent. Please sign the below petition to advocate for these bats, and to demand that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service give them the protection they need.
Dear Director Ashe,
I am writing to ask that you please reconsider the threatened status of the northern long-eared bat and upgrade it to endangered. These bats have been dying at high rates in the U.S. ever since the appearance of white-nose syndrome in 2006, and it is important that we do all we can to protect and defend this fragile species.
The northern long-eared bat is an important part of our complex ecosystem as they are essential to the control of insect populations. We cannot allow this species to be eliminated, and its 98 percent decrease in population since 2006 is not to be taken lightly. Because a cure for white-nose syndrome has still not been found, it is essential that all other activities that may affect these bats’ population and habitats be ceased. As it stands now, certain practices that are detrimental to this species, such as logging, oil and gas drilling, and mining are still being allowed around these bats and their habitats, which only further adds to the threat of their extinction. Granting these bats an endangered status would put an end to these practices within their habitats.
While granting the northern long-eared bat a “threatened” status is a step in the right direction, it is simply not enough to ensure the survival of this species. It is essential that we place this species on the endangered list so that it receives the best protection possible, therefore giving it the best chance of survival.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Steve Taylor