Kentucky is among 30 states that will receive federal funds to boost monitoring for a deadly bat disease.
Biologists from the state have already been working to document the spread of White Nose Syndrome, which is a deadly fungus that nearly always kills the bats it infects. U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Ann Froschauer says the additional federal funds will augment that effort.
“This support will help the state as well as the larger national response effort in trying to better understand how the disease is affecting our North American bat populations,” she said.
Thirty states will receive grant funding, but the disease has only been found in 19 of them.
“Some of these states where White Nose Syndrome is not yet, will be using this money to try to help in advance and preparation and expectation that the disease may reach them, trying to figure out sort of where their bat populations are, the distribution, what kinds of bats they have,” Froschauer said.
White Nose Syndrome has already killed about 5.5 million bats in North America. In Kentucky, it’s been found in Trigg and Breckenridge counties. The state’s share of the grant funding is $32,000.