Vermont gets federal aid to thwart white-nose syndrome

Local News

Vermont is getting federal money to continue researching white-nose syndrome among bats.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will send Vermont Fish & Wildlife $25,000.

White-nose syndrome is caused by a fungus that grows in damp bat caves, and it’s hit the little brown bat especially hard.

While these bats are hibernating, the fungus irritates them, waking them up. With little to no food available to them during the winter, they’ll die from starvation.

“The grant allows us to do a combination of survey work, population count, working with other researchers to understand why some individuals are surviving from the disease, doing outreach with the public so they can understand what the disease is, and the affect that it has when we lose these populations of bats,” Vermont Fish & Wildlife small mammals biologist Alyssa Bennett said.

Since 2008, Vermont has lost 90 percent of its little brown bat population.

Bennett also said that studies show bats save farmers nationwide $3.7 billion per year in pesticide costs and in lost crop revenue.

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