According to Hudsonia Ltd:
In New York State, as in many other states, municipal agencies (e.g., town councils, town planning boards) have substantial authority for land use planning, for environmental reviews, and for issuing regulatory approvals for development projects.
Most such decisions, however, are made without the benefit of good biological information or knowledge of potential impacts to biological resources. Consequently, biodiversity resources are disappearing at an accelerating rate in the rapidly developing Hudson Valley due to loss, fragmentation, and other degradation of habitats.
Did you know?....
- Orange County has the second highest number of dragonfly and damselfly species in the United States!
- Orange County has the second highest number of plant species in New York.
- Orange County has the highest concentration of Northern Cricket Frogs in New York. This species is listed by NYS as Endangered.
- Orange County contains the statewide hotspot for reptiles and salamanders.
- The Hudson Valley has the third highest number of turtles in the WORLD! There are thirteen species in the region, one of which, the Bog Turtle is Federally listed as Threatened.
(reference, Orange County Open Space Plan)
DEC Survey Shows Bat Populations Down 90 Percent In Caves Impacted By “White Nose Syndrome”
Wide-ranging, Coordinated Research Effort Continuing; NY Gearing Up for Next Round of Winter Surveys
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Populations of some bat species have plummeted more than 90 percent in Northeast caves impacted by “White Nose Syndrome,” according to an extensive investigation by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Commissioner Pete Grannis announced today.
Surveying 23 caves at the epicenter of the bat die-off in early 2009, researchers found an alarming decline - 91 percent on average -- in the number of hibernating bats. The study included 18 caves in eastern New York, four in western Massachusetts and one in Vermont.
“These steep declines are alarming and disheartening,” Commissioner Grannis said. “Researchers from around the country are focusing on the bat die-off and DEC will continue to work with a wide range of partners to try to get to the heart of the problem.”
DEC reminds the public to avoid seasonal caves and mines to protect bat populations.;
Human disturbances are harmful...Experts believe that when bats are disturbed during hibernation periods, it forces them to raise their body temperatures, which depletes their fat reserves. This affects bats' energy levels and places the bats in a comprised state, which can lead to death. Anyone entering a northern long-eared bat hibernation site from October 1 through April 30, the typical period of hibernation for bats, may be subject to prosecution. For more information: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/106090.html
(more info on what is white-nose syndrome, www.whitenosesyndrome.org)
note - when anticipated new development will impact bat species habitats, tree clearing activities would be restricted to occur between October 1-March 31.