Eighteen U.S. Bats Candidates for Listing
Eighteen bats will be considered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as candidates for endangered or threatened listing. The bats were included in the January 6 Federal Register (Vol. 54, No. 4) notice of review. Although inclusion on this list is not a formal proposal for endangered or threatened status, it is a first step. The Service encourages appropriate agencies to take the eighteen species into account in environmental planning. More conclusive information about the status of those on the list will need to be presented to the Service before they are proposed for endangered or threatened status. The complete list includes plant and animal species native to the United States or its territories.
There are several categories of listing. Category 1 indicates that enough information to support a proposal for listing as endangered or threatened has already been presented, but a ruling has not yet been issued because it has been precluded by other listing activity. Being listed in Category 2 means that the Service has information to indicate that a proposal to list as endangered or threatened is possibly appropriate, but for which conclusive data on biological vulnerability and threat are not currently available to support proposed rules. Another category, 3A, comprises taxa for which the Service has persuasive evidence of extinction. Only one of the eighteen has received this classification.
The bats listed are as follows:
1. Marianas flying fox (Pteropus mariannus mariannus), Category 1 for the islands of Aguijan, Tinian and Saipan in the northern Marianas, and Category 2 for the island of Rota.
2. Pagan fruit bat (P. mariannus paganensis), Marianas Islands
3. Samoan flying fox (P. samoensis samoensis), Samoa
4. Sheath-tailed bat (Emballonura semicaudata), Caroline Islands
5. Mexican long-tongued bat (Choeronycteris mexicana), Southwest to South America
6. California leaf-nosed bat (Macrotus californicus), Southwest to Mexico
7. Demerest's fig-eating bat (Stenoderma rufum), Puerto Rico
8. Eastern small-footed bat (Myotis leibii), Midwest, Northeast to Canada
9. Arizona little brown bat (M. lucifugus occultus), Southwest to Mexico
10. Southeastern myotis (M. austroriparius), Midwest to Southeast
11. Southwestern cave bat (M. velifer brevis), Southwest
12. Spotted bat (Euderma maculatum), West from Canada to Mexico
13. Townsend's big-eared bat (Plecotus townsendii townsendii), California Pacifi Northwest to Canada
14. Rafinesque's big-eared bat (P. rafinesquii), Southeast
15. Greater western mastiff bat (Eumops perotis californicus), Southwest to Mexico
16. Underwood's mastiff bat (E. underwoodi), Southwest to Central America
17. Florida mastiff bat (E. glaucinus floridanus), Florida
18. Insular long-tongued bat (Monophyllus plethodon frater), Puerto Rico
A few of the species on the list have already been declared locally endangered in portions of their range and as such, are protected by the states in which they live.
By publication of the notice, the Service encourages investigation of the status and vulnerability of the species listed. Members are encouraged to contact their own State Department of Fish and Game to ask if any surveys are being conducted on sensitive species in their state.
With a population of less than 500, Marianas fruit bats were already declared endangered on the island of Guam. They are now being considered for such status throughout the rest of their range.
PHOTO BY MERLIN D. TUTTLE