USFWS White-nose Syndrome Small Grants Projects Selected

USFWS White-nose Syndrome Small Grants Projects Selected

White-nose syndrome (WNS), a disease caused by a fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, has been observed in North America since at least 2006 and has spread rapidly across the United States and Canada. The disease has killed millions of bats and continues to spread. In response to the continued threat of WNS to bat populations, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) committed $200,000 to fund the WNS Small Grants Program for the 2019 year. These funds will support priority research and communications needs outlined in the White-Nose Syndrome National Plan and will help advance conservation efforts to manage the spread of the disease and its effect on bat species throughout North America.

Bat with white nose

The Request for Proposals closed in October 2018, with 24 submissions from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Almost $496,000 funds were requested with $373,000 pledged in matching funds. The proposals were reviewed in late 2018 and the selections were announced in January 2019.

All grant proposals could request up to $25,000, must commit to non-federal matching funds of at least 35% of the grant request, and projects will need to be completed within one year. This funding opportunity was open to non-federal government entities.

The accepted proposals for 2019:

Brief Title PI ORG
Interspecific immune function differences and their relationship to WNS susceptibility Missouri State University
Communicating new tools and products in the battle against WNS Henderson State University
Using cutaneous wax esters and free fatty acids to quantify the susceptibility of twelve bat species to infections with Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) Fordham University
Soapstone Quarry habitat protection project Franklin Land Trust
Using whole-room sanitization technology to safely and effectively treat infected hibernacula with ultraviolet light Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Building a digital game about white-nose syndrome to reach new audiences Ravenswood Media, Inc
Understanding Myotis septentrionalis persisting in an urban forest Toronto Zoo
Monitoring the presence / absence of Pd on hibernating bats from Mexico Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Protect people, protect bats (working title for video) Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Bureau of Wildlife
Post WNS summer occupancy, ecology, and improved survey methods for the Tricolored Bat (Perimyotis subflavus) in southeastern Missouri Pittsburg State University
Photo Credit
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Flickr
February 15, 2019