In recent years the number of biological assessments (BAs) for the presence of endangered species conducted by KYTC has risen significantly. This was primarily due to new/additional restrictions imposed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in 2005. The most consequential restriction was the listing of the Indiana bat as potentially present in all Kentucky counties. Previously BAs for the Indiana bat were only conducted when a project occurred in a county in which the Indiana bat had been observed (a known occurrence). This study reviewed the policies of the states adjacent to Kentucky, as well as those of North Carolina, in regard to the conditions that produce a BA for Indiana and Gray bats. The study found that some states tend to follow different policies. But, in addition to Kentucky, four states—Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, and West Virginia— assume that the Indiana bat is potentially present in all counties of the state. These states inspect for suitable habitat for the Indiana bat on all projects. The other states only inspect when a project is in a county where the species has been observed. Regarding the gray bat, the study found that Kentucky is not disadvantaged compared to other states, as the gray bat was not said to be present in a disproportionate number of Kentucky counties. During the course of the study, KYTC developed a Programmatic Agreement with USFWS that has reduced the number of BAs.

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, or the Federal Highway Administration.