- Associated Press - Monday, November 10, 2014

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) - The presence of endangered bats in the area of a proposed White River reservoir in central Indiana could bring the project to a halt, a wildlife biologist says.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will have to formally review the planned $450 million Mounds Lake reservoir that would stretch about seven miles from a dam in Anderson, Ball State University biologist Jim Carter said.

The reservoir could create new habitat for the endangered Indiana bat but it would take many years to grow the mature trees the bats use for maternity colonies during warm months, The Herald Bulletin quoted Carter as saying (https://bit.ly/1Ekj7Gq ).

“There are two factors,” he said. “Is the population robust enough to survive the flooding of the area, and is the population strong enough to re-populate the area?”

Carter said a second species, the northern long-eared bat, also is in decline and could be added to the endangered-species list in April.



“We will have two endangered species in the habitat area,” he said. “A determination that endangered species are in the area will end the project.”

Exemptions to the Endangered Species Act depend on whether the project is determined to be important enough to move forward, Carter said.

Reservoir advocates say the $450 million project would improve flood control, create prime real estate for waterfront housing and boost economic development in the Anderson area.

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Information from: The Herald Bulletin, https://www.theheraldbulletin.com

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