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Kentucky Residents Sentenced After Killing Bats

PostPosted: Mar 18, 2010 1:52 pm
by cavergirl
Kentucky Residents Sentenced After Pleading Guilty to Killing Endangered Bats [fws-southeastnews]

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts: Tom MacKenzie,
FWS, 404-679-7291
March 18, 2010 Bob Snow,
Special Agent, 502-582-5898 x29

Kentucky Residents Sentenced After
Pleading Guilty to Killing Endangered Bats

One Kentucky man will spend the next eight months in jail, and another will
receive three years probation for killing more than 100 endangered Indiana
bats in Laurel Cave, Ky.

Lonnie W. Skaggs, Olive Hill, Ky., and Kaleb D. Carpenter, Grayson, Ky.,
today were sentenced in U.S. District Court, Ashland, Ky., for violations
of the Federal Endangered Species Act. U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward B.
Atkins sentenced Skaggs to two eight-month Federal prison sentences, to run
concurrently, for a total of eight months. Carpenter received three years
probation.

The investigation began in October 2007 when Carter Caves State Park
employees documented that visitors had entered Laurel Cave on two occasions
and had killed a total of 105 Indiana Bats; a federally-listed endangered
species. It was later revealed that Carpenter and Skaggs had killed the
bats with flashlights and rocks; and had crushed bats they knocked from the
air and from the cave walls with their feet.

Following the initial incident where 23 bats were killed, Skaggs returned
to the cave a few nights later with another Olive Hill resident and killed
82 more.

“This senseless act of killing dozens of endangered Indiana bats cannot be
tolerated,” said James Gale, Special Agent-in-Charge for the Service’s
Southeast Region. “These bats are endangered and this reckless behavior is
particularly grievous considering the current health of its population and
our work with partners to recover the species.”

The Service designated the Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) as in danger of
extinction in 1967, prior to the enactment of the Endangered Species Act.

In the fall Indiana bats migrate to caves, called hibernacula, and by
mid-November enter hibernation where they remain for the duration of
winter. In the summer, female Indiana bats form maternity colonies in
roost trees, where they give birth to a single “pup,” and raise their
young. Roost trees generally consist of snags, which are dead or dying
trees with exfoliating bark, or living trees with peeling bark. Bats are
the only major predators of night-flying insects.

In just one hour a single bat can eat between 600 and 1,000 insect pests.

The Indiana bat population has declined since it was listed as an
endangered species in 1967, and was estimated by the Service in 2009 to be
about 391,163 individuals.

The case was investigated by the Service, Kentucky State Parks, and the
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources; and was prosecuted by
Assistant United States Attorneys Roger West and Rob Duncan.

Re: Kentucky Residents Sentenced After Killing Bats

PostPosted: Apr 12, 2010 1:51 pm
by ahicks51
I didn't hear about this until I received my NSS News today.

A felony conviction like this is going to follow these two guys the rest of their lives, making employment very difficult for either one of them. The penalties seem a little low; one local case netted the fellow a $10,000 fine for just 14 plants he illegally imported. Killing 100+ federally listed bats would seem to be much more serious.