FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2013
Valerie R. Redmond, 612-713-5316
Barb Jones, 612- 713-5433
2013 Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Grants Minnesota
More than $134,000 in Conservation Funding
Female golden-winged warbler with a radio telemetry device. Photo by Mike Sweet/USFWS
The American Bird Conservancy received $134,955 in funding to implement conservation measures for the golden-winged warbler, which has been identified by the Service as a species of concern. The grant will be awarded for a project in Minnesota and will be combined with $1,405 million in partner match dollars to restore nearly 1,200 acres of young forest breeding habitat for the species. The award is part of a $3.5 million investment to conserve declining warblers, sandpipers and other neo-tropical migrant birds by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act.
Migratory birds throughout the Western Hemisphere received this boost this week when Service Director Dan Ashe approved grants for 27 collaborative conservation projects across the Americas, one of which was for Minnesota protection of the golden-winged warbler. Now under petition to list under the Endangered Species Act, the colorful songbird has been in serious decline.
These Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act grants will leverage a 3.5-to-1 return for conservation, matching the Service’s investment with about $12.5 million in private funds. The projects will conserve more than 250,000 acres of migratory bird habitat, stimulate critical research into declining bird populations, and fund outreach programs to raise local awareness of conservation issues and solutions.
More than 350 species of neotropical migratory birds migrate to and from the United States each year, including warblers, plovers, sandpipers, terns, hawks, flycatchers and sparrows. The populations of many of these birds are in decline, and several species are currently considered endangered or threatened in one or more countries as a result of habitat loss, pollution or other factors.
“This funding is critical because the golden-winged warbler is a species of concern,” said the Service’s Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius of the tiny 4-inch long elusive bird. “Not only will these grants have a beneficial impact on the species and its habitat, but the utilization of cutting edge technology such as radio telemetry will aid to discover more details about the golden-winged warbler’s migration patterns.”
Grants and matching funds received through the Act will support public-private partnerships to conserve neotropical migratory birds and their habitats throughout their migratory ranges, from their breeding sites in Canada and the United States, to their wintering sites in Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. This year’s grants will benefit hundreds of species in 15 countries. The Minnesota project highlights include:
The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act of 2000 established the matching grants program to fund projects to conserve 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. The Act requires a partner-to-grant dollar match of 3-to-1, but has achieved a ratio closer to 4-to-1. For more information on funded projects for 2013 and previous years, visit http://www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NMBCA/
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.
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