AZ Game and Fish awarded grant for bat research

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The white-nose syndrome has killed more than 5.7 million bats in eastern North America. (Source: Lynne Russell) The white-nose syndrome has killed more than 5.7 million bats in eastern North America. (Source: Lynne Russell)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona wildlife officials are increasing their research efforts on a deadly bat disease with much-needed grant money.

On Monday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded the Arizona Game and Fish Department $12,440 to fight the bat-killing fungal known as white-nose syndrome.

The white fungus was found on the muzzles and wings of bat’s in the winter of 2006.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Critter Corner]

Since it was found in New York, the fungal has spread to 33 states and killed more than 5.7 million bats in eastern North America.

The funding will be used to determine whether the fungus is impacting bats in Arizona.

“Very little information is available on Arizona’s wintering bat populations as few bats have been found hibernating in caves,” said AZGFD bat specialist Angie McIntire.

The FWS has awarded $1 million in grants to 37 states to combat the disease.

[RELATED: Biologists net bats in Scottsdale, debunk myths while public watches]

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