Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Northern Long-Eared Bat as an Endangered Species
On October 2, 2013, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announced a 12-month finding on a petition to list the eastern small-footed bat (Myotis leibii) and the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) and to designate critical habitat. After review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we found that listing the eastern small-footed bat is not warranted but listing the northern long-eared bat is warranted. Accordingly, we proposed to list the northern long-eared bat as an endangered species throughout its range under the Act. In the October 2, 2013, proposed rule, we also determined that critical habitat for the northern long-eared bat is not determinable at this time. We announce the extension of the comment period for our October 2, 2013, proposed rule to ensure the public has sufficient time to comment on the proposal for this wide-ranging species that involves many stakeholders. The Service seeks data and comments from the public on the October 2, 2013, proposed listing rule for the northern long-eared bat.