The US Fish and Wildlife Service has put the northern long-eared bat on the “threatened” species list. The agency stopped short of declaring the species in danger of extinction – even though millions have been killed by “white nose bat syndrome.” That means state officials don’t have to take drastic measures to protect habitats while researchers search for a cure.
Dan Kennedy is an endangered species specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
“What we can do right now is try to minimize impacts to these bats while they’re hibernating, but as far as specifically addressing the fungus, there is no silver bullet.”
Kennedy says most of the bats in Michigan are hibernating in remote, abandoned mines in the western Upper Peninsula. There could be some restrictions on logging and tree thinning in summer months in areas where young bats are roosting.