Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | May 17, 2010

Kentucky environmental attorney Sanders says US Fish and Wildlife is awarding $4.9 million in grant money for conservation of migratory bird habitat.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is awarding more than $4.9 million in grants for 37 projects that support neotropical migratory bird conservation throughout the Western Hemisphere. Matched by more than $14.8 million in additional funds from partners, the projects will support habitat restoration, environmental education, population monitoring and other priority activities within the ranges of neotropical birds in the United States, Canada, Mexico and 27 Latin American and Caribbean countries.

The grants are funded under the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, which supports public-private partnerships carrying out projects in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean that promote the long-term conservation of neotropical migratory birds and their habitats.

More than 340 species of neotropical migratory birds breed in the United States and Canada and winter in Latin America, including plovers, terns, hawks, cranes, warblers and sparrows. The populations of many of these birds are presently in decline, and several species are currently protected as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act of 2000 established a matching grants program to fund projects promoting the conservation of neotropical migratory birds in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.

 Funds may be used to protect, research, monitor and manage bird populations and habitat, as well as to conduct law enforcement and community outreach and education. By law, at least 75 percent of the money goes to projects in Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada, while the remaining 25 percent may go to projects in the United States.

 Projects receiving grants include: 

  •  Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay: Birdlife International will receive a $247,250 grant, which will be matched with over $741,750 from partners, to strengthen and expand the Southern Cone Grasslands Alliance allowing partners in that region to build upon existing successes by managing, protecting and restoring grasslands important to neotropical migratory birds.
  • Colorado: The Nature Conservancy of Colorado will match $250,000 in grant funds with $810,000 to acquire approximately 8,000 acres of grassland and riparian habitat for neotropical migratory birds on Colorado’s Central Shortgrass Prairie.
  • Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua: Dr. Bridget Stutchbury, along with graduate students of York University via a $26,000 grant matched with $81,400, will use miniature geolocators to link wintering and breeding populations of wood thrush in part as a tool to develop international conservation partnerships for the species.
  • Dominican Republic, Haiti: Nature Canada, in close coordination with local in country partners, will receive a $143,925 grant matched with over $500,000 to promote reduced degradation of bird habitat in two protected areas critically important as wintering habitat for vulnerable species such as the Bicknell’s thrush.
  • Nicaragua: The American Bird Conservancy will match a $34,775 grant with $104,220 to increase shade coffee plantings on coffee farms in northern Nicaragua to protect the remaining forest fragments that are important habitat for species such as the golden-winged warbler and cerulean warbler.
  • North Carolina: Using a grant of $95,000 and matching funds of $287,500, Southern Appalachians Highland Conservancy will acquire and manage neotropical migratory bird habitat to benefit the golden-winged warbler in the Roan Mountain Natural Heritage Area.
  • Wisconsin: The Kinnickinnic River Land Trust, Inc. will use a $250,000 grant and $750,000 in matching funds to acquire habitat to benefit grassland-dependent breeding neotropical migratory birds.
  • Washington, Oregon: The American Bird Conservancy will use a grant of $250,000, matched by $750,000 in partner funds, to acquire and restore oak habitats and conserve associated priority bird species in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Colorado, Mexico: The Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory will use $240,026 in grant funds and $720,249 in matching funds to continue work to conserve high-priority and declining grassland bird species of western North America through researchand monitoring; education and outreach; law enforcement; and protection of shortgrass prairie habitat.
  • Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Saskatchewan: Using a grant of $54,600 and matching funds of $164,189, the Wildlife Conservation Society will survey and monitor the responses of grassland birds to restorative plantings of native grasses and prescriptive grazing management in the northern Great Plains.

More information about all projects awarded grants is on the Web at:

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