Published: Jun 09, 2010 8:07 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 09, 2010 5:03 PM EDT

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission says that a rare bat has been found living in the
Picayune Strand State Forest in the Gulf coast area.
      FWC says researchers found a bonneted bat during a monitoring
project between August 2009 and May 2010.
      The bonneted bat is listed as endangered by the state. It is
Florida's largest bat with a wingspan of 19 to 21 inches.
      It is named for its large ears that slant forward over its eyes.
      An environmental group has petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service to add the bonneted bat to the federal list of endangered
species.
      FWC is collecting data on species diversity in the forest to
help guide management efforts there. An Everglades restoration
project is underway to restore natural water flows.