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A tri-color bat in the Avery County with white-nose syndrome. Photo by Gabrielle Graeter, NCWRC.

Grant to help fight white-nose syndrome

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Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature.

As the bat disease white nose syndrome continues to spread in the Southern Appalachians, the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service recently announced 1.4 million dollars to fund research into the disease and ways to control it. Funding for the grants was provided under the Endangered Species Act.

White-nose syndrome has killed more than 5.5 million bats in eastern North America and has spread rapidly across the United States and into Canada since it was first detected in 2006.

Funded projects include detailed studies of the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome; developing a better understanding of how white-nose syndrome is transmitted; determining the mechanics of thefungal infections, including the susceptibility and resistance of bats to infection; determining how persistent the fungus is in the environment; and identifying and developing non-chemical control options for treatment and prevention of the disease’s spread.

White-nose syndrome has been confirmed in 19 states and four Canadian provinces at caves and mines where bats hibernate. Surveys of bat hibernation sites are wrapping up, but the disease is expected to continue to spread in the future.

Additional information about white-nose syndrome can be found on the new website, WhiteNoseSyndrome.org. The site contains the most up-to-date information and resources from partners working to counter white-nose syndrome, including current news, and links to social media.

For WNCW and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, this is Gary Peeples.

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit fws.gov. Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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