U.S. Congress Approves $4 Million for White-Nose Syndrome
This past Friday the U.S. Congress went ahead and allotted $4 million USD of the Department of the Interior’s 2012 Endangered Species Recovery Fund toward the research and management of White-nose syndrome.
While much less than the $10.8 million USD requested, $4 million USD is quite significant considering that overall spending has being reduced by more than $400 million USD when compared to last year.
Another positive outcome is that white nose syndrome was mentioned in directives to three different agencies, expanding from solely the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to now include the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service.
Department of Interior
Bureau of Land Management Wildlife and Fisheries – The Bureau should prioritize research related to White Nose Syndrome in bats and the inventory and monitoring of bat resources on Bureau-administered lands.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species – The conferees direct the Service to fund white nose syndrome research and response activities at no less than $4,000,000 from within Recovery. Funds should be used to: (I) increase research capacity to fund basic and applied research to stop the spread of the disease; (2) provide funding for States to implement response activities; and (3) increase FWS capacity for surveillance, monitoring and coordination activities. The conferees expect these activities to be coordinated with other Federal partners.
U.S. Forest Service
The Forest Service should prioritize research related to White Nose Syndrome as well as inventory and monitoring of bat resources on Forest Service lands.
Congress Approves $4 Million for WNS [National Speleological Society] & Funding Allocated to Research and Manage Bat Disease [WAMC New York] & Congress Directs $4 Million to Fight Against Bat-killing Disease [Center for Biological Diversity]