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Bat conservation plan out for public comment

The Virginia big-eared bat is capable  of hovering and swift flight.  Michael Durham/durmphoto.com photo The Virginia big-eared bat is capable of hovering and swift flight. Michael Durham/durmphoto.com photo

A draft conservation plan for the federally endangered Virginia big-eared bat is out for public comment through March 1. 

In North Carolina, the species is found primarily in Avery and Watauga counties. It has been federally listed since 1979 due to habitat loss, vandalism of caves and increased human visitation to maternity roosts and hibernation areas. The plan outlines long-term protections to encourage population growth, calling for continued monitoring and research of the species, maintaining its caves, and active protection of the bat’s foraging habitats through land acquisition, partnerships and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Conservation Land Program for private landowner participation. 

Submit comments at bit.ly/3wdIH7C. Contact biologist Katherine Etchison with questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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