Vermont has received a $35,000 federal grant to combat white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has wiped out some bat populations throughout much of the eastern United States.
Vermont's grant is one of 35 totaling nearly $1 million that will be used to fight the disease.
Sen. Patrick Leahy said Wednesday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife funding will be used to support research, monitor bat populations and create best practices for land management agencies to reduce the spread of the disease.
In Vermont, the funding will help with national research and the recovery of the state's five threatened and endangered bat species, including the northern long-eared bat.
Leahy says bats play a vital role in agricultural cycles, consuming large amounts of pests that destroy crops and carry diseases.