Wildlife and Habitat

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Habitat Fragmentation

“Highways which become long linear features across a landscape, have impacts on wildlife and wildlife habitat that are disproportionate to the area of land that they occupy.”
I-69 Final EIS, Dec. 2003

Cerulean Warbler

New-terrain I-69 will destroy over 2,000 acres of forests, fragmenting hundreds of forest tracts, causing dramatic damage to many wildlife habitats. Forests along the new-terrain route are home to 14 summer nesting colonies of the endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and forest-dependent songbirds like the endangered cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulean).

Indiana Bat

The Indiana bat, one of the federally endangered species in Indiana, will be directly affected. In addition to the summer habitat being felled, the new-terrain route will also pass in close proximity to 12 winter hibernacula, including Ray’s Cave with a population of nearly 60,000 bats.

Bats are also being threatened by white-nose syndrome (WNS), a disease that has killed over a million bats since its initial discovery in the Northeast in January 2007. The first confirmed cases of WNS were identified in bat populations in Indiana in February of this year. WNS, known for the distinctive ring of white fungus often seen on the faces and wings of affected bats, poses a considerable threat to all species of hibernating bats throughout North America, including the Indiana bat.

Below are a list of resources. It’s not too late to change direction.

Indiana Endangered, Threatened or Candidate Species

Indiana Species of Greatest Conservation Need

Copperbelly Water Snake