Nicholas Throckmorton, 703/358-2235
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne today announced nearly $4.5 million in federal grants to support neotropical migratory bird conservation in the United States, Canada, Mexico and many Latin American and Caribbean countries.
"What happens in Central and South America affects the birds that visit our backyards every spring and summer. These grants will support cooperative conservation projects and research to benefit our shared migratory bird resources throughout the hemisphere," said Kempthorne.
In the 2009 President's budget request, the Department of the Interior launched the Birds Forever initiative. It includes an increase of $8.0 million to support targeted planning and broad-scale activities to address threats to bird species. The initiative supports the President's October 20, 2007, announcement where he highlighted his support for migratory bird conservation and working across international borders to conserve shared species. These grants support the President's pledge that Interior will work with counterparts in Mexico to conserve bird habitat.
The Interior Department's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will provide 37 grants to conservation partnerships in those countries. Partners will, in turn, match those funds with more than $15 million that will be used to conduct research, monitoring, and management programs for migratory bird populations, as well as related outreach and education.
There are 341 species of Neotropical migratory birds that breed in the United States and Canada and winter in Latin America including species of plovers, terns, hawks, cranes, warblers and sparrows. Many of these birds are presently in decline, and several species are protected as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act of 2000 established the matching grants program to fund projects promoting the conservation of Neotropical migratory birds in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Funds can 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 can go to projects in the United States.
Projects in the United States and its Territories include:
Colorado - The Colorado Division of Wildlife will receive $103,320 and match this grant with more than $620,000 to study the survival of mountain plover chicks.
Massachusetts - Massachusetts Audubon Society will receive $38,000 and match this grant with $114,000 to study the endangered roseate tern?s movements around Nantucket Sound and Buzzard's Bay.
Montana - The Nature Conservancy of Montana will receive $250,000 and match this grant with $750,000 to protect at least 814 acres of scientifically identified high priority grassland and riparian habitat for neotropical migratory birds on Montana?s Rocky Mountain Front.
Puerto Rico - Island Conservation will receive $250,000 and match this grant with nearly $1 million to protect Neotropical migrants from invasive species on Desecheo Island.
Wisconsin - The Zoological Society of Milwaukee will receive $14,708 and match this grant with $44,124 to work with private landowners in Wisconsin to conserve birds shared with Belize in Central America.
International Projects that include the United States:
Colorado and Mexico - The Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory will receive nearly $250,000 and match this grant with $750,000 to conserve grassland nesting species in North America.
Alaska and Canada and Chile - The Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology will receive nearly $18,000 and match this grant with $53,000 to study the Hudsonian godwit and document the effects of climate change on the timing of the godwit's annual cycle throughout its entire range.
Alaska, California, Kansas, Florida, Puerto Rico and South Carolina and Canada, Panama and Ecuador - The Centre for Wildlife Ecology at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, will receive nearly $100,000 and match that amount with more than $325,000 to research the connections of western sandpipers to their migratory habitat by looking at the chemistry of their blood and feathers.
New Mexico and Mexico - Pronatura Northeast (Mexico) will receive nearly $250,000 and match this grant with nearly $900,000 to work with ranchers to manage desert grasslands to be bird friendly and to create "forage banks" that help both ranchers and birds.
Americas Wide - The Rainforest Alliance will receive $52,000 and match this amount with $157,000 to help the bird conservation community in the western hemisphere share data and information.
To learn more about the projects listed above plus the 20 projects in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada please send an e-mail to email@example.com.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov