The tricolored bat will be the second species of U.S. bat to be listed as endangered this year as a fungal disease decimates their populations, federal officials announced plans to do so on Tuesday.
As the northern long-eared bat neared extinction, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service suggested reclassifying it from threatened to endangered in March. Twelve North American bat species, including the northern long-eared and the tricolored, are affected by white-nose syndrome, which interferes with their essential winter hibernation.
“White-nose syndrome is decimating hibernating bat species like the tricolored bat at unprecedented rates,” said Martha Williams, the agency director. “Bats play such an important role in ensuring a healthy ecosystem. The service is deeply committed to continuing our vital research and collaborative efforts with partners to mitigate further impacts and recover tricolored bat populations.”