Needs Mount for Nongame Species

Oct 20, 2018

Gray bats flying in a cave
The gray bat is just one of many species of wildlife you can help by giving to conservation and by asking Tennessee congressmen to support the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.

Dedicated Funding is Needed

In Tennessee, more than 1,400 species are identified as being in greatest need of conservation. And more than 70 species are federally listed as threatened and endangered. All of these nongame wildlife are facing more and more challenges from loss of habitat, decreases in habitat quality, invasive species, disease, and more.

Currently, there isn’t dedicated, adequate, or recurring funding to help turn the tide. But your support is bringing Tennessee, and the nation, closer than ever before to a solution.

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act has been introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. This bipartisan legislation has the potential to bring $20.8 million to Tennessee ($1.3 billion nationwide) annually to address at-risk species such as the gray bat.

Gray bats act as both pollinators and insect eaters. They keep our landscapes beautiful and friendly to the outdoorsman—positively impacting countless other species. Bats also provide an estimated value of $313 million each year to Tennessee agriculture through crop production increases and pesticide use reduction.

In 1976, the gray bat was listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act and on the Tennessee state list. Dedicated recovery efforts by our friends at Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and other agencies helped bring the gray bat population to healthy levels.

It was almost removed from lists when white-nose syndrome was discovered and began destroying bat populations nationwide.

Fortunately, the gray bat seems to have a natural resistance to white-nose syndrome—though its population hasn’t fully rebounded. Researchers are determining the source of the gray bat’s resistance in hopes of using it to help other bat species at risk.

But all these efforts take funding—dedicated, adequate, and recurring funding. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act offers that. And it needs you.

You can help the gray bat and other imperiled species.

Featured photo by George Wyckoff

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