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Endangered Species Sighting May Delay Iowa Interchange

Indiana BatThe discovery of an endangered Indiana bat near the proposed site of a $31 million Interstate 80 interchange near Waukee, Iowa has put the development plans on hold.

A single female Indiana bat was found five-tenths of a mile from the building site, however the bats typically fly one to three miles a night looking for food.

The bat is listed on the federal endangered species list.  Federal officials have requested a study to determine whether the Indiana bat population would be harmed by the interchange.

According to the Des Moines Register, the Indiana bat population has decreased to 387,000 since 1967.

“Indiana bats typically roost in the bark of dead or dying trees. If they are found to be living in trees near the interchange site, the cities will have to work with state and federal environmental officials to determine the best way to accommodate the bats,” the Des Moines Register reported.

The $30,000 ecological study is expected to take place in May, when the bats return from hibernation.