Research and Development of Biotechnological Tools for White-nose Syndrome

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is making funding available in 2022 and 2023 for research and development of enduring solutions to manage white-nose syndrome (WNS) in bats.

The Service provides financial and technical assistance to nongovernmental, university, and private researchers,


as well as state and local governments, Native American tribes, and federal agencies, for the management of WNS and conservation of bats.

Projects supported under this funding opportunity will investigate, develop, evaluate, and implement innovative biotechnologies to eliminate the threat of WNS to bats in North America.

Since 2007, white-nose syndrome has caused the deaths of millions of bats in North America.

The disease is caused by an invasive fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), in the Phylum Ascomycota, that grows best in cold, damp, dark environments like those preferred by hibernating bats.

Twelve species of bats in temperate North America are known to be susceptible to infections by Pd, but the severity of WNS varies considerably among them.

Several species suffer high rates of mortality from WNS while others suffer only minor infections.

An additional six North American bat species are known to have been exposed to Pd but have not been shown to suffer infection.

In Europe and Asia, where Pd likely originated, multiple bat species are known to be susceptible to WNS, but with only minor infections and no evidence of mass mortality from the disease.

As of August 2022, WNS is confirmed or suspected in bats in 39 states and eight Canadian provinces, and evidence of the causative fungus, Pd, has been detected in at least four additional states without signs of the disease.

For information on WNS and previously funded projects, please see: Growth in our scientific understanding of WNS, Pd, and susceptible bats has been rapid since the disease was first identified in 200 7. Evidence from multiple lines of investigation, along with recent advances in biotechnology, have laid the groundwork for developing biotechnological tools that may put an end to the threat this invasive species poses to bats in North America.

Funding through the Research and Development of Biotechnological Tools for WNS grant opportunity will advance projects that leverage knowledge about WNS, fungal pathogens, invasive species, wildlife diseases and other relevant topics to produce enduring solutions to WNS in North America.

We seek management solutions that are pathogen-specific, effective, scalable, and safe for native biota and environments.

For this opportunity, we consider biotechnological tools to be those that involve the modification of an organism or genome for the purposes of acting on the function of an organism (in this case, Pd).

Projects submitted to this opportunity should clearly achieve progress toward an implementable management tool.

Collaborations are encouraged and applicants are invited to contact a member of the Service’s WNS coordination team (below) while developing their projects.

Eliminate the threat of Pd to hibernating bats in North America.

Objective 1:
Develop biotechnological tools that remove or suppress Pd’s pathogenic properties, making it unable to cause severe disease.

Objective 2:
Develop biotechnological tools that reduce or eliminate the environmental reservoir of Pd in treated sites.

Agency: Department of the Interior

Office: Fish and Wildlife Service

Estimated Funding: $1,500,000

Who's Eligible

Obtain Full Opportunity Text:

Additional Information of Eligibility:
Additional eligible applicants include nonprofits having a 501(c)4 and 501(c)5 status with the IRS.

This funding opportunity is open to domestic and foreign applicants.

Additional information for foreign entities is included below.  To be eligible, the following conditions must be met:  1.

Applications must clearly address the stated objective of this funding program, as identified above.  2.

Applicants must be in good standing on previously awarded Federal grant agreements, with no outstanding reports or obligations, and a record of successful use of funds from previous WNS grants (if applicable).  When an applicant is carrying two or more active WNS awards while applying for another, the  Service has an administrative obligation to verify that there are no correctable problems in implementing the existing awards.

The Service will review the reasons why those grants are still open before proceeding with further consideration.

Previous recipients that demonstrate their effective use of WNS funds will not be affected.

Previous recipients that have taken no significant action on any one of their two or more preexisting awards will not be considered eligible to apply for new funds from the WNS program until the issue is resolved.

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