Regulatory Changes on the Horizon for the Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB) and Tricolored Bat (TCB)

March 15, 2024

United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Important regulatory changes are on the horizon for the northern long-eared bat (NLEB) and tricolored bat (TCB). Our commitment to keeping our clients informed means we’ll be sharing key updates to help you stay compliant. Here are the essential details you need to know:

On November 29, 2022, the USFWS officially reclassified the Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB)  from threatened to endangered, simultaneously nullifying the 4(d) rule. This significant development was published in the Federal Register. Additionally, a proposal to list the tricolored bat (TCB) as endangered was announced on September 13, 2022.

Interim NLEB Tools and Guidance Extension: To facilitate a smooth transition and minimize disruption for all stakeholders within the NLEB’s 37-state range, the USFWS is extending the availability of interim NLEB guidance and tools until the issuance of final tools in the summer of 2024 rather than April 1, 2024 as originally planned. These interim resources include wind guidance, habitat modification guidance, and section 7 consultation framework. 

Preview Period for New Tools and Guidance: Anticipated on or around April 1, 2024, the USFWS intends to share a draft of the new tools and guidance for both the NLEB and TCB. This preview period will offer stakeholders the opportunity to familiarize themselves with any changes, ask questions, and provide feedback before the final tools and guidance go into effect later in the summer of 2024.

Ongoing Projects and Federal Action Agencies: For ongoing projects previously reviewed using the interim NLEB tools, no additional action is required, except for federal action agencies who were issued a biological opinion under the Interim Consultation Framework (ICF). Specific guidance will be communicated directly to these agencies.

With the NLEB’s habitat spanning across 37 states in the eastern and north-central United States, along with the District of Columbia and much of Canada, the re-listing of this species has the potential to impact numerous projects across the Transportation, Energy and Land Development Sectors. As your project partner, and experts in threatened and endangered species surveys and environmental impact analyses, we excel in adeptly addressing these issues on your behalf.

Fisher has been closely monitoring all updates to the regulatory status of the Northern Long Eared Bat and Tricolored Bat. To learn more, click here.

Reach out to Brook Bertig-Coll at Fisher if you have any questions about how this change may impact your current and future projects, and how we can work together to protect your investments. 


Brook Bertig Coll

Brook Bertig-Coll
Director of Environmental
724.916.4250 ext. 387

Contact Brook

More News & Insights