Will Long-Eared Bats cause problems or delays for your construction project?
When owners or developers purchase land for new construction projects, they may not be aware that an endangered species may have already chosen that newly purchased land for habitation.
Delays in the construction industry are not uncommon. They are generally caused by weather, changes in design, labor shortage, and delays in materials delivery among other causes. However, in our area, a relatively new cause of delay could really surprise you; the northern long-eared bat.
According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the northern long-eared bat is listed by the federal government as a threatened species under the endangered species act. This means the northern long-eared bat is likely to become endangered in the near future. The northern long-eared bat is found in 37 states stretching from the east coast to as far west as Montana. The protection of this species has been known to cause issues when developers plan to clear a portion of land before the start of construction.
Harmon recently started work on the Cable Dahmer Kia car dealership project in Lee’s Summit, MO. While working with the architect and engineers on designing and developing this site, the owner hired a horticulture consultant to determine if the northern long-eared bat was an inhabitant on their site.
A registered horticulturist was hired and surveys were performed to determine if any northern long-eared bat roost trees or hibernacula (creature shelters) were present. After research was completed, it was determined that the northern long-eared bat’s activities did require a permit on this property.
Harmon and the owner worked aggressively with the horticulturist this past winter to get the required approvals needed in order to clear the portion of trees before March 31st per recommendation from the USFWS. If the March 31st date was not met, there would have been a significant delay to the start of construction as the most crucial months of protection for the northern long-eared bat in the midwest occur in the summer.
Moral of the story? Make sure and do your research if you’re wanting to purchase land for a new construction project. There may be an endangered species inhabiting your proposed land acquisition which needs to be handled carefully.