6-28-13 Va., W.Va. get grants to for bat disease projects

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Virginia and West Virginia have been awarded federal grants for white-nose syndrome projects.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday that 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.

The agency awarded a $38,500 grant to Virginia and a $47,500 grant to West Virginia. They are 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.

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