Pennsylvania Chapter Sierra Club

Go to Bat for Pennsylvania Bats

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Last August, the Pennsylvania Game Commission recognized that the Pennsylvania bat population is facing extinction.

The northern long-eared bat, the tri-colored bat and the little brown bat are all on the verge of disappearing forever due to a devastating fungal disease called white-nose syndrome. Bucknell University researchers consider the loss of bats a wildlife disaster.

The commission announced it was considering listing the bats as endangered in Pennsylvania and listed possible conservation measures, such as limiting some logging in roosting areas in the summer months and curtailing wind turbines on a handful of late summer and fall evenings, when winds are light and bats are likely to be foraging, mating or migrating.

Immediately, the industries affected cried foul, claiming even the limited seasonal cut backs would "crush" the state's economy and put thousands out of work. Timber and coal mining interests were particularly vociferous in their opposition to the proposal. The game commission quickly bowed to this pressure. 

The skittishness of the game commission doesn't somehow magically change the fact that more than 99 percent of the state's six hibernating bat species have disappeared since white-nose syndrome arrived in the state in 2008. What about the irreparable biological cost: Just how close does a species have to come to vanishing before the state admits it's endangered and takes action to protect it?

Please fill out your contact information as completely as possible using the form below. You may choose to edit the content of your message, or leave it as-is.


  • Pennsylvania Game Commission Comment Inbox
  • Commissioner David J. Putnam, District 3 Commissioner


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Pennsylvania Bats Need More Protection

Dear Commissioner Putnam,

I am very troubled that the Pennsylvania Game Commission has refused to take action to protect the three bat species in the Commonwealth being decimated by white-nose syndrome. The northern long-eared bat, the tri-colored bat and the little brown bat are all on the verge of disappearing forever. Bats perform valuable ecological functions, including controlling the insect populations that threaten agriculture and forestry.

Last August, the Commission recognized that "with precipitous population declines, remaining individuals are critical to the preservation and restoration of the species in this Commonwealth." These three bat species clearly are in imminent danger. Please list them as endangered species and take steps to protect their habitat.

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