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July 07, 2016

Why the Northern long-eared bat might impact your practice

Why should I pay attention to a small, winged mammal called the Northern long-eared bat? And what does white-nose syndrome have to do with me or my practice? Well, the answer is that you or your clients might run afoul of the Endangered Species Act and that could affect whether or not a project moves forward or, worse yet, it could subject them to monetary or even criminal penalties.

Years ago, few people knew of a common visitor to area woods and neighborhoods. However, because of an insidious disease that irritates its hibernating colonies, the Northern long-eared bat has become newsworthy. More important, it has become a significant consideration for conducting such mundane tasks as routine summer maintenance work and can be detrimental to developers and others.

On Jan. 14, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service listed this type of bat as "Threatened" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). So what does this mean? And why is such a common, insect-eating inhabitant to our community in danger of extinction?

Read more from the Buffalo Law Journal

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