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  • Writer's pictureSarah Morris Ocampo

If the Bats Have Been Out this October, Don’t Panic! It Could be Illegal to Kill Them!

When most people think of Nevada, the first thing that comes to mind is usually not bats. Although Nevada is not well known for its bat population, 23 different species of bats call Nevada home. Due to bats’ nocturnal habits, the interaction between them and humans is extremely rare. With that being said, there are a few reasons why bats might choose your house to roost or there could come a time that a bat accidentally flies into your house. If this happens, it is important to know how to handle the situation and important to know that it is illegal to kill some bats.  

Endangered Species Act of 1973

There are six species of bat that are federally listed as endangered, and they are protected by the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and also the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1956. The law protects not only the bats but their habitats as well. In several states, bats and their habitats are protected by state law also. Nevada is one of the states that does not have laws or regulations for bat removal, but federal law still stands in this area. Anyone who violates this federal law could have to pay fines of up to $50,000 or spend up to six months in prison.

There have been at least 19 species of bats found within Lake Mead Recreational Area and none of these are listed as threatened or endangered.  However, ten species are listed at risk and need proactive protection because the species is declining. The only bat species that Nevada has that is listed as “threatened” is the spotted bat. This bat is closely associated with rock cliffs and is normally found in small colonies if not by itself.

Bat Conservation International

Although there is only one known species of bat in Nevada that is protected by federal law, it is important to know how to handle a situation if you were to come into contact with one because you may not be able to accurately recognize the bat species. According to the Nevada Department of Wildlife, the best way to get rid of a bat that has accidentally flown into your home is to turn off the lights and open the doors and windows; the bat will find a way outside to go find insects. To keep bats from roosting in or around your house, exclusion plans can be obtained from Bat Conservation International or Nevada Department of Wildlife.

And finally, as we always say, “If you think you need an attorney, you probably do.” Contact us to set up a consultation. We love answering questions!

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