Fish and Wildlife awards grant for bat disease study

JACKSON — Mississippi will receive $42,248 in federal funds for white-nose syndrome projects.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the grants will support research and detection of the fatal bat disease, and response to it. States also will use the funds to monitor bat populations.

Mississippi is among 28 states receiving grants.

Fish and Wildlife officials say the disease has been reported in 22 states and five Canadian provinces since it was discovered in New York in 2007. It has killed more than five-and-a-half million bats. WNS is a fungal infection in the soil that leaves bats with white residue on their faces.

The deadly white fluff grows around their muzzles and on their wings. Bats contract the illness from other bats, and humans are not at risk.

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