Protected Mammals

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) allows the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service to list species of plants and animals as federally threatened or endangered. These United States designations are defined as follows:

  • “Endangered” means a species is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
  • “Threatened” means a species is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future.

The State Endangered Species Act (N.C. General Statutes Chapter 113 Article 25) empowers with N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to recognize species as needing additional conservation. State-listed designations and their definitions are as follows:

  • “North Carolina Endangered” designation is given to any native or once-native species of wild animal whose continued existence as a viable component of the State’s fauna is determined by the Wildlife Resources Commission to be in jeopardy or any wild animal determined to be “‘Endangered” pursuant to the ESA.
  • “North Carolina Threatened” designation is given to any native or once-native species of wild animal that is likely to become an endangered species within the forseeable future throughout all of a significant portion of its range or one that is designated as “Threatened” pursuant to the ESA.
  • “North Carolina Special Concern” designation is given to any species of wild animal native or once native to North Carolina that is determined by the Wildlife Resources Commission to require monitoring but that may be taken under regulations adopted under the provisions of Article 25.

Species with either a United States or a North Carolina designation should be addressed in your forest management plan and taken into consideration during all activities in your woodlands.


Virginia Big-Eared Bat
(Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus)

The Virginia Big-eared bat is federally listed as endangered.  It is known to live only in a small area in the North Carolina mountains. This bat roosts in caves and forages in forests, open fields and near cliffs for moths, flies and beetles.

Indiana Bat
(Myotis sodalis)

The Indiana bat was federally listed as endangered in 1967.  Its presence is restricted to only a few counties in the North Carolina mountains where it hibernates during the winter in caves and roosts in hollow trees or under loose bark in the summer.


Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel
(Glaucomys sabrinus coloratus)

This squirrel is federally listed as endangered.  It inhabits North Carolina’s high elevation forests and forages in the spruce-fir-hemlock forests, eating largely lichen and fungi. It dens in both live and dead hardwood trees and their nests use exclusively yellow birch bark as either the nest or at least for the nest lining.

Northern Long-eared Bat
(Myotis septentrionalis)

The Northern Long-eared Bat is federally listed as threatened, primarily due to White Nose Syndrome.   It is known to occur only in North Carolina’s mountains and coastal plain – not in the piedmont. They spend winter hibernating in caves and mines and in summer they roost underneath bark, in cavities or in crevices of both live trees and snags. Like most bats, northern long-eared bats emerge at dusk to feed. They primarily fly through the understory of forested areas feeding on insects.