At a Glance

Key Messages

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Since 2002, more than $50.1 million in grants.

Grants have supported 451 projects in 36 countries.

Partners have contributed an additional $190.6 million.

More than 3.7 million acres of habitat affected.

The following messages were developed by the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Communications Team (Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, American Bird Conservancy, Audubon Society, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service).

The messages include important facts and figures about the program, for different audiences. Click on the links below to access the messages by audience, or download the complete document (PDF).

Executive Branch - States and NGOs - Private Sector

Key Messages for the Executive Branch

NMBCA supports the Service’s wildlife conservation mission.  Migratory birds are an integral part of the landscape the Service seeks to conserve for the benefit of the American people. 

NMBCA supports and enhances the DOI’s and the Service’s efforts to connect people with nature and the outdoors.  By conserving birds that appear in peoples’ backyards, NMBCA helps to engage people in the great outdoors and in activities that allow them to enjoy these amazing and beautiful birds.

NMBCA connects youth with nature, supporting DOI's and the Service's youth initiatives. NMBCA funds projects that involve training young professionals and educating youth through nature festivals and other outreach activities. 

NMBCA-supported projects complement the Service’s other national and international conservation work.  NMBCA-supported projects complement North American Wetlands Conservation Act funding, conservation efforts through the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the work of the Division of International Conservation, as well as international conservation work by other agencies including the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. State Department.  NMBCA promotes landscape scale conservation of species through their annual life cycles throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Funding put on the ground in the U.S. alone is not enough. Science tells us that you must conserve migratory birds throughout their range. The NMBCA is a mechanism to protect investments in species conservation in the U.S. by making a sound and directed investment in conservation in Latin America and the Caribbean and Canada.

NMBCA actions provide opportunities to support people at the local level in other countries, increasing good will toward the U.S. and supporting diplomatic efforts.  Through the Southern Cones Grasslands Alliance, U.S. funds support the economic livelihood of ranchers to keep them on the land, promote security, sustainability, and healthy landscapes and people. 

NMBCA leverages significant matching investment. Partners have leveraged federal funds with more than $178 million in non-federal contributions – a nearly four-to-one match ratio.

Grants funded through the NMBCA seek to achieve measurable results for priority species. In 2012, a pilot program was instituted by FWS, to quantify measurable outcomes and performance for grants targeting high priority species. 

Modest funding through the NMBCA puts effective conservation on the ground.  NMBCA grants are highly competitive, with demand for projects greatly exceeding available funds, thus only the highest quality proposals receive funding.

Key Messages for States and Non-Governmental Organizations

Funding through NMBCA provides critical funding dollars that help NGOs to meet their conservation goals.  For example, NMBCA funding for Cerulean and Golden-winged Warbler projects has enabled strong partnerships, and leveraged billions of dollars invested for conservation.

NMBCA funding can catalyze new partners to engage in projects and provide a network for organizations to connect with others working on similar issues. NMBCA has strong synergy with international bird conservation plans, programs and partnerships, e.g., Partners in Flight and Southern Wings. The majority of the Southern Wings projects have also been NMBCA projects.

International conservation achieved through NMBCA supports the work being done through state wildlife action plans and protects State investments at homeNMBCA funding supports the same species that are priorities for States and where States play an important role in their conservation. Highlights from State of the Birds 2012:
§ Golden-winged warbler – “State lands are extremely important for the conservation of golden-wings, with 16% of the species’ distribution.” Over 10,000 acres have been managed for golden-winged warblers in Pennsylvania.
§ Cerulean warbler - “tend to have a higher-than-average proportion of their distribution on public lands”
§ Bicknell’s thrush – “More than 25% of the U.S. population of the Bicknell’s Thrush, a species of conservation concern, is in Adirondack Forest Preserve and Catskill State Park, New York.”

NMBCA supports state, non-profit, and other non-governmental groups focused on the conservation of high priority habitats.  For example, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies grasslands initiative seeks to work tri-nationally for bird habitat conservation with support from the NMBCA.  NMBCA is also a key player in the Commission for Environmental Cooperation project on tri-national grasslands conservation.

Funding put on the ground in the U.S. alone is not enough. Science tells us that you must conserve migratory birds throughout their range. The NMBCA is a mechanism to protect investments in species conservation in the U.S. by making a sound and directed investment in conservation in Latin America and the Caribbean and Canada.

NMBCA puts funds on the ground across the U.S. as well as Latin America and Canada.  Partnerships have received more than $46 million for 422 projects in 36 countries and 28 U.S. states.

Grants funded through the NMBCA seek to achieve measurable results for priority species. In 2012, a pilot program was instituted by FWS, to quantify measurable outcomes and performance for grants targeting high priority species. 

Key Messages for Private Sector, Foundations, and Funding Agencies

Funding put on the ground in the U.S. alone is not enough. Science tells us that you must conserve migratory birds throughout their range. The NMBCA is a mechanism to protect investments in species conservation in the U.S. by making a sound and directed investment in conservation in Latin America and the Caribbean and Canada.

Bird conservation benefits society and specific economic sectors. Birds have been estimated to consume 98% of certain insect pests, including codling moths, enhancing agricultural production.  Birds pollinate many plant species, particularly flowers.  Purple Martins keep pesky mosquitoes in check. 

Birds are a common sight and a source of enjoyment for millions of people and their colorful and musical presence contributes to pleasing landscapes. NMBCA is successful in conserving exactly the species of birds—colorful neotropical species—that people want to see.

Funding NMBCA through match is a good investment. Partners have leveraged federal funds with more than $178 million in non-federal contributions – a nearly four-to-one match ratio.  The Southern Cone Grasslands Alliance, a successful NMBCA-funded initiative, resulted in, among other things, landowner incentives funded with a $750,000 donation from the Inter-American Development Bank, for farmers and cattle ranchers who conserve grasslands habitats.

Habitats that birds need are also valuable to people. Healthy habitats for birds improve water quality, contribute to flood control, buffer coastal erosion, recharge ground water and promote carbon sequestration.

Birds have a significant economic impact - through birding festivals, wildlife watching (purchasing bird food and binoculars etc.), and creating jobs in association with those recreation opportunities.  According to the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation:

  • 46.7 million Americans enjoy watching and feeding birds.
  • $107 billion is spent on birdwatching equipment and travel in the U.S.
  • 666,000 jobs are created due to birdwatching.
  • $13 billion in local, state, and federal tax revenue results from birdwatching.
  • 17.8 million Americans travel to see birds, putting millions into local economies.

Birds can make a difference to local economies. A 2011 study by Texas A&M University concluded that nature tourism -- dominated by bird watching -- brings in over $300 million a year to the Rio Grande Valley economy. This direct economic contribution led to a total county-level economic output of $344.4 million and 4,407 full and part-time jobs annually.

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