White Nose Syndrome Rapid Response Fund
The purpose of theNSS White Nose Syndrome Rapid Response Fund is to initiate or continue field and laboratory research into White Nose Syndrome in bats, especially where other funding is not readily available, and would result in critically identified seasonal research not occurring.
White Nose Syndrome (WNS) is the name given to a condition of unknown cause that has led to the death of hundreds of thousands of bats in the eastern United States. Since its initial identification in a New York cave in 2006, WNS has now spread to scores of sites in sixteen states and four Canadian provinces, as far south as Tennessee, as far west as Indiana, and as far North as Quebec. A previously unknown fungus, Geomyces destructans, was confirmed in 2011 to cause WNS. In the winter of 2010, the fungus was identified on bats in Missouri and Oklahoma, but no histological signs of WNS were present. Numerically, WNS has affected the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) most severely, but has now been documented to affect all six northeastern hibernating bat species.
The WNS Rapid Response Fund gives you an opportunity to provide timely, direct, and much-needed support for WNS research. Because the NSS is a private organization, we can respond rapidly to appropriate research requests. Given the seasonal nature of bat research, this is most critical.
Since 2008, the NSS WNS Rapid Response Fund has funded sixteen projects that were research priorities collectively identified by the science and management communities, and would not have occurred without our support. You can read about all the grants your money has supported on the WNS Liaison web page under the WNS Research Center.
Federal funding remains in short supply. Funds approved by Congress in 2009 fell far short of the identified need, and were only granted in October 2010. Congress added no new money in 2010 or 2011, and the federal budget for 2012 remains unsettled. While some federal funds were taken from other internal federal sources, the bulk of WNS funding has come from the private sector.
Your help is needed. Make your tax-deductible donation online at the NSS Donation Page, or write a check to the NSS WNS Rapid Response Fund and mail it to: NSS, 2813 Cave Ave., Huntsville, AL 35810-4431. The NSS is a 501c(3), non-profit, tax-exempt organization.
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Researchers interested in applying for funding can find the application guidelines here.
WNS Liaison web page - updates on WNS research, media coverage, and key WNS links.