PA Game Commission keeps certain bats off endangered list

Written by Megan Lello and Radio Pennsylvania | Oct 21, 2012 8:45 AM

(Harrisburg) -- The state Game Commission is holding off on designating some bat species as "endangered" in the wake of a rise in White Nose Syndrome.


The group says it won't place the Little Brown, Tri Colored, and Northern Long Eared Bats on the endangered species list as the Pennsylvania Biological Survey had requested.

State Game Commission Executive Director Carl Roe says the agency had received feeback from groups worried that declining bat populations would negatively affect several state industries. "The effects of lower bat populations is not just a wildlife issue as its effects can be devastating to industries and citizens, as it will increase more insect infestations on crops, and increase mosquito-borne diseases, such as West Nile Virus, dengue, and others."

Roe says more research and information is needed to decide how best to protect Pennsylvania's bat population.

White Nose Syndrome leads bats grow white fungus on their muzzles and wings, and it's unclear how the disease is transmitted.

The small-footed bat is listed as "threatened" in the commonwealth, while the Indiana Bat is a federally-endangered species.

Listen to a Radio Smart Talk program on White Nose Syndrome in bats here.

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