Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Conservation Fund: Notice of Funding Opportunity

The Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) provides support to projects that deliver measurable conservation results for tortoise and freshwater turtles through the Marine Turtle Conservation Fund.

The goal of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle (TFT) Conservation Program is to recover and maintain viable populations of tortoise and freshwater turtles in the wild by addressing the critical threats to their survival.

Our strategy encompasses the following key objectives:

  • Species Protection: Conserving TFTs in their habitats through focused, measurable actions that involve collaborating with essential stakeholders to reduce threats such as exploitation, harmful fishing practices and predation. 
  • Habitat Protection: Minimizing habitat loss, encroachment, and degradation by working closely with communities and land stewards to implement effective habitat protection and restoration techniques, with a special focus on nesting and foraging habitats in or around conservation areas. 
  • Combating Exploitation: Supporting community-led initiatives to reduce poaching through the development of alternative livelihoods, co-designed with local stakeholders, and behavior change campaigns grounded in social science concepts. 
  • Legal Protections and Law Enforcement: Collaborating with government and regional authorities to enhance legal protections for TFTs by building intelligence information exchanges and bolstering law enforcement capacity. 
  • Demand Reduction: Facilitating behavior change outreach programs, informed by social science concepts, to curtail the demand for TFTs.

Guidelines for Proposed Projects

Competitive projects will work to support the Service's key objectives and bolster long-term conservation capacity for TFTs. We broadly define capacity to include: 1) the capacity of habitat to sustain TFT populations through threat reduction and habitat restoration activities and 2) the capacity of individuals and institutions at local and national levels to champion the conservation of TFTs in those countries and regions.

We prioritize the following actions to bolster long-term TFT conservation capacity within the broader Service program goal:

  • Cultivate enduring conservation capacity among local and indigenous communities, local and national non-governmental organizations, government bodies, and other pertinent stakeholders.
  • Support the growth of local conservation initiatives that promotes opportunities to build skills and develop networks of local multidisciplinary practitioners relevant to TFT conservation. 
  • Facilitate information sharing between communities, turtle networks, government and regional authorities; and institutions on effective techniques to reduce the threats to TFTs in their habitats.
  • Identify and address gaps in TFT conservation through a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach.
  • Develop and implement community-led action plans with direct conservation impacts that promote sustained threat reduction and consistent monitoring (habitat or species) to identify and alert relevant entities for more urgent or expanded attention if increased threats are identified. 
  • Provide clear evidence of how the proposed activities will yield lasting, significant benefits for the species in focus. 

Proposals should demonstrate how project activities directly address one or more of the key objectives and actions and include a plan for monitoring and evaluation (i.e., measuring indicators). For this Notice of Funding Opportunity, while all projects that work to implement one or more of the overall Service program goals are eligible for funding, TFTs with a high extinction risk and most urgent conservation needs or threat reduction activities focused in the geographic area of South Asia and Southeast Asia will be prioritized


The approximate amount of funding available under this program is $1,000,000 USD. The amount of funding per federal award may range from $150,000 - $450,000 USD.

The amount of funding requested must match the scope of the activities, anticipated results, and the length of the project period. For multi-year projects, project activities should be clearly articulated in phases/years and support for future phases/years will be contingent on project performance, satisfactory reporting and financial management, and availability of program funds. The anticipated start dates for awards will be June 2024 or later, and periods of performance may range from 3 – 5 years.

The expected award date is May 27, 2024.

Budget and Process

Applicants must include an itemized Budget. An example budget spreadsheetandbudget narrativeare available on our website. These are optional documents to serve as an example of what information applicants must include in their budget and budget narrative and how to convey that information. 

Applications may be submitted electronically no later than 11:59 PM EST on February 19, 2024, through, or alternatively through and must be submitted in English. Late applications will not be accepted.

A confirmation email containing an assigned application number beginning with “FWS-” will be sent to applicants upon submission. If you do not receive this email within five days of the opportunity closing date, contact Do not submit your application more than once. Duplicate applications will be discarded.


Applicants may be individuals, multinational secretariats, foreign national and local government agencies, U.S. and foreign non-profits, non-governmental organizations, for-profit organizations, community and Indigenous organizations, U.S. and foreign public and private institutions of higher education, and U.S. territorial governments.   


See the Notice of Funding Opportunity for full details on the application requirements and process for applying. This should be read carefully to ensure an application meets all eligibility requirements and is complete upon submission.

Electronically submitted applications may be submitted until 11:59 PM EDT, February 19, 2024, preferably through (search for funding opportunity # F24AS00160). You may also apply and find more information at Synopsis and Related Documents.

Full details: Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). Apply through (search for funding opportunity number: F24AS00160)