In summary, in June 2016, the FHWA, FRA and FTA, along with Regions 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the service, completed a large-scale consultation and conservation strategy for Indiana bats and northern long-eared bats. The resulting biological programa opinion will help expedite the consultation process on transportation projects and provide a consistent approach to bat protection. The strategy is as follows: the range of the northern long-eared bat overlaps with the Indiana bat, but it is even larger (all or parts of 37 states), which is why consultation problems similar to those of the Indiana bat are expected. It is likely that consultation approaches for both species will develop in response to the spread of white nose syndrome in areas of species dissemination. Appendix C: Update of prevention and minimization measures in February 2018. Appendix B: Revised Submission Form June 2019 Appendix A: Assisted Destination Keys – Process Summary Catherine Liller, U.S. Fish and Service Catherine_Liller@fws.gov or Compensatory Mitigation Ratios for Indiana Bat – Table 3 Biological Opinion Indiana Bats, a threatened species listed since 1966, come to most of the eastern half of the United States n. Northern long-eared bats, recently considered threatened (April 2, 2015), are present in 37 states, from the Atlantic coast westward to eastern Montana and Wyoming. Section 7, a)(l) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires federal authorities to use their authorities to preserve listed species. The information provided as part of this consultation and conservation strategy will enable these authorities to strategically avoid projects in areas of high impact or high risk to the Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat. For projects that cannot avoid effects, project promoters have the information they need to design projects to minimize their impact, avoiding the need to revise projects later in their development.
For large projects or projects with a greater impact, priority conservation areas will be identified in order to offset and minimize the impact of hosting. This approach will enhance consistency in project design and review, reduce consultation times, reduce delays, and make a valuable contribution to the conservation of both species. Approaches to consulting and mitigating the impact of federal projects on Indiana bats vary widely across the 22 countries in the bat region, and these approaches have changed rapidly in recent years. It is likely that consultation approaches will evolve independently of one another to respond to the spread of white nose syndrome throughout the species` range. These variations and modifications have led to significant uncertainties, conflicts, delays and workloads for the service, the FHWA and the Public Ministries of Transport (DOTs). Appendix E: Post Assessment Discovery of Bats Form August 2017 Compensatory Mitigation Ratio Percent Forest Cover (by county) Excel table: June 2016. . . .