Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) Grants

525 FW 1
FWM Number
Originating Office
Division of Bird Habitat Conservation
1.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter:

A. Describes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) program, and

B. Explains the responsibilities for the NMBCA grant program in the Service.

1.2 What is the NMBCA grant program? The NMBCA grant program:

A. Is a voluntary, competitive matching grants program that is non-regulatory and based on public-private funding; and

B. An international conservation grant initiative that funds projects to conserve neotropical migratory birds in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. A neotropical migratory bird is one that breeds in or migrates through the United States, at least to some extent, and spends the non-breeding season in the United States, Canada, Latin America, or the Caribbean.

(1) Because birds from all taxa are included, proposals may benefit land birds, waterbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, songbirds, and others.

(2) Under the definitions in the legislation, currently 368 species qualify as neotropical migratory birds. A full list is available on the NMBCA Web site.

1.3 What is the Service’s policy related to the NMBCA grant program? We support partnerships that deliver long-term conservation of neotropical migratory birds in the Western Hemisphere. The NMBCA grant program is unique in that it funds a wide variety of conservation activities and partnerships outside U.S. borders.

1.4 What is the Service’s goal under NMBCA? Our goal under NMBCA is to administer a grant program that:

A. Focuses on perpetuating healthy populations of neotropical migratory birds, and

B. Assists in the conservation of neotropical migratory birds by providing financial resources that foster international cooperation for such initiatives.

1.5 What is the authority for this chapter? The authority for this chapter is the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.).

1.6 Who in the Service is responsible for the NMBCA grant program? See Table 1-1.

Table 1-1: Responsibilities for NMBCA grants

These individuals…

Are responsible for…

A. The Director

(1) Approving or declining to approve Servicewide policy, and

(2) Approving projects for NMBCA funding.

B. The Assistant Director – Migratory Birds

Ensuring the program and grants process are managed according to Service requirements and that there is adequate program policy.

C. The Chief, Division of Bird Habitat Conservation

(1) Developing grant guidelines, grantee requirements, and program policy;

(2) Coordinating review of proposals; and

(3) Administering and closing the grants.

1.7 Do Service personnel work with any other group to run the NMBCA grant program? Yes, as called for in the Act, we work with the NMBCA Advisory Group, individuals representing public and private organizations actively involved in conserving neotropical birds. The Advisory Group:

A. Provides policy recommendations to the Director, and

B. Helps promote the program outside the Service. (The authorizing legislation exempts this group from Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) requirements.)

1.8 Who may apply? The following people/groups may apply for NMBCA grants:

A. An individual, corporation, partnership, trust, association, or other private entity;

B. An officer, employee, agent, department, or instrumentality of the Federal Government, State, municipality, or political subdivision of a State or of any foreign government;

C. Any other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the United States or of any foreign country; or

D. An international organization.

1.9. Where must projects be located? Project activities must be carried out in the United States, Canada, Latin America, or the Caribbean.

1.10 What kinds of projects are eligible? The following kinds of projects are eligible for NMBCA grants:

A. Protection and management of neotropical migratory bird populations;

B. Maintenance, management, protection, and restoration of neotropical migratory bird habitat;

C. Research and monitoring;

D. Law enforcement; and

E. Community outreach and education.

1.11 What is the duration of a grant and the funding requirements?

A. The funding period may be 1 or 2 years.

B. Federal funds (i.e., funds from the U.S. Government) requested under the Act must be matched 3:1 with non-Federal funds. For every NMBCA grant dollar, a minimum of three non-Federal dollars are required.

(1) For projects in the United States (except Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and Canada, the non-Federal share must be in currency.

(2) For projects in Latin America and the Caribbean (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), the non-Federal share may be currency or in-kind contributions.

1.12 What grant process does the Service use for NMBCA?

A. The Division of Bird Habitat Conservation (DBHC) posts a notice of funding opportunity annually on and on the NMBCA Web site.

B. DBHC reviews proposals for eligibility. A panel of neotropical bird conservation experts (i.e., the review team) then reviews and scores the eligible project proposals and makes recommendations for funding to the Service Director, who approves the projects for funding. The review team consists of individuals from Federal and State agencies, appointed by the Service Director.

C. DBHC develops and administers the grant agreements and awards.

1.13 How do potential grant recipients apply for NMBCA grants? Potential grant recipients can find published grant notices and information about how to apply on the following Web sites:

A., and

B. The DBHC NMBCA Web site

1.14 When is the annual application deadline for proposals? The deadline varies from year to year. Potential grant applicants can visit the NMBCA Web site for the current fiscal year’s deadline.