TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — Indiana State University bat researchers have secured a $900,000 grant to study the distribution and habits of federally endangered gray bats in North Carolina.

The school's Center for Bat Research, Outreach and Conservation received the grant from the North Carolina Department of Transportation for a three-year study of the distribution, preferred habitats and migration habits of gray bats.

The species lives mostly in Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky and Missouri, but last year hundreds were found living along bridges in North Carolina.

North Carolina officials awarded the grant because they need to know when the bats migrate for the winter to help schedule maintenance work.

Joy O'Keefe is the bat center's director. She says the research will include tagging bats with transmitters to track them around Asheville, North Carolina.