On May 11, a Congressional Review Act resolution to overturn the northern long-eared bat’s endangered listing under the Endangered Species Act passed Senate.
The endangered classification places a burden on Wyoming landowners, businesses, and infrastructure projects, according to a press release from Senate Western Caucus Chair, Cynthia Lummis (R-WY).
“Listing the northern long-eared bat as endangered would create a regulatory headache for people throughout Wyoming,” said Senator Lummis. “There’s no evidence listing the northern long-eared bat would do anything to actually help the species; however, it would definitely cost hardworking people in Wyoming a lot of time and money.”
But according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), it is confirmed the bat faces extinction due to white-nose syndrome. This disease spreads quickly causing white fungus to infect the skin of ears, wings, and muzzles of hibernating bats. It can kill up to 100 percent of a colony.
Defenders of Wildlife states the bat’s population has dropped 99 percent since the early 2000s due to disease, oil and gas drilling, and habitat loss. And as wind energy programs expand in Wyoming with projects like high-voltage transmission line and the proposed Rail Tie Wind Project, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates up to hundreds of thousands of bats die due to wind turbines in North America every year.