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Northern Long-Eared Bat Regulatory Buffer Interactive Tool

To better address project review requirements regarding northern long-eared bats (NLEB) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Final Rule pursuant to listing of NLEB as a Federally Endangered species, DWR has worked with USFWS to create this tool depicting data shared between the USFWS and DWR for this species. The NLEB Regulatory Buffer Interactive Tool can be used to assist project proponents in evaluating potential impacts their project may have on northern long-eared bats.

If your project has a federal connection (nexus), you must submit your project to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Virginia using their online project review tool. You may also need to coordinate with the appropriate federal agency that is authorizing, funding, or carrying out the proposed activity.

If your project does not have any federal nexus, you may use this interactive mapping tool to determine if your project site is located within a regulatory buffer around a northern long-eared bat capture. northern long-eared bats are mapped in three ways:

  • NLEB hibernacula: Documented hibernacula are circumscribed by a 0.5 mile inner regulatory buffer and 5.5 mile outer regulatory buffer.
  • NLEB roosts: Documented roosts are circumscribed by a 150 ft regulatory buffer.
  • NLEB mist-net and auditory captures: Documented locations of the species are circumscribed by a 3 mile buffer.

We also indicate on the map the counties in Virginia in which the bats are living year-round. This is unlike northern long-eared bats known from other parts of Virginia that return to the cave systems in Western Virginia to over-winter.

Currently a standalone application, we will incorporate these data and this application into other project review protocols and reports as soon as possible. In the interim, we recommend that project proponents conducting environmental reviews access this application to evaluate potential project impacts upon NLEB, in addition to their normal VaFWIS or other environmental review protocols.