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USFWS grants nearly $1 million for WNS monitoring

From U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

-- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has granted awards of $962,981 to 30 states for white-nose syndrome (WNS) projects. State natural resource agencies will use the funds for surveillance and monitoring of caves and mines where bats hibernate, preparing state response plans and other related projects.

White-nose syndrome has devastated bat populations across eastern North America. First documented in New York in the winter of 2006-2007, the disease has spread into 19 states and four Canadian provinces. Service biologists and partners estimate that WNS has killed more than 5.5 million bats.

“Responding to the rapid spread and severity of this disease has been difficult for state agencies and other partners. Providing funds directly to states helps to improve response, but also provides support for critical research projects,” said FWS national WNS coordinator, Dr. Jeremy Coleman.

The Service is leading a cooperative effort with federal and state agencies, tribes, researchers, universities and other non-government organizations to research and manage the spread of WNS. In addition to developing science-based protocols and guidance for land management agencies and other partners to minimize the spread of WNS, the Service has funded numerous research projects to support and assess management recommendations and improve our basic understanding the disease.

Funding for grants was provided through Endangered Species Recovery funds. Proposals were received from 31 states requesting $1,183,480. All eligible requests were given at least partial awards, ranging from $14,646 to $50,000, for a total of $962,981 in grant funds.

Additional information about WNS, the international disease investigation, and research can be found at http://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/.

2012 Final Awards and the states that received them are Alabama—$26,250; Colorado— $24,000; Delaware—$ 20,000; Georgia—$ 21,000; Hawaii—$40,622; 
Idaho—$24,000; Illinois—$27,580; Indiana—$23,600; Iowa—$25,500; Kentucky—
$32,000; Maine— $24,099; Maryland—$48,000; Michigan— $49,500; Minnesota— $38,900; Mississippi— $25,847; Missouri —$20,000; New Hampshire—$14,646; New Jersey—$50,000; North Carolina—$47,500; Ohio—$46,050; Oregon —$24,000; Pennsylvania—$26,000; Rhode Island—$22,819; Tennessee—$50,000; Utah— $24,000;
Vermont—$22,000; Virginia— $50,000; Washington—$22,568; West Virginia—$42,500; 
Wisconsin—$50,000.  Total in awards, $962,981.

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