How Changes to the Northern Long-Eared Bat Listing Could Affect Your Projects

Brian Breissinger By: Brian Breissinger

It was recently announced that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia remanded, but did not vacate, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) listing of the Northern Long-Eared Bat as “threatened.” This decision will require the USFWS to determine a new listing for the species based on court findings, which could have implications for projects in its range, which includes Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland. The decision could result in the following outcomes:

  • The bat is relisted as “threatened.” The Northern Long-Eared Bat could be relisted as “threatened," but this would not include the current 4(d) rule that has allowed many projects requiring tree clearing to continue operating without the need for surveys or time of year restrictions on clearing.
  • The bat is relisted as “endangered.” If the bat is listed as “endangered,” this would remove the possibility of a 4(d) rule and would likely result in more restrictions on activities that take place in the bat’s habitat.


If you have any questions regarding the pending changes to the Northern Long-Eared Bat listing and how they could affect your projects, please feel free to contact Brian Breissinger at