- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan is among 30 states that have been awarded federal funding to research a fungal disease that has killed millions of bats.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has given the Michigan Department of Natural Resources $52,500 for work on white-nose syndrome.

The disease was first discovered in New York in 2006. It has turned up this year in five Michigan counties: Alpena, Dickinson, Keweenaw, Mackinac and Ontonagon.

Some colonies in the Northeast have experienced die-offs of more than 90 percent.

A DNR response plan calls for preventing human-assisted movement of the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome and conserving remaining bat populations.

The grant funds will be used to continue disease surveillance and testing, population monitoring, protection of abandoned underground mines and caves where bats hibernate, public outreach and education.

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