Press Release
American Rescue Plan Provides Critical Support for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Programs

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) signed by President Biden March 12, 2021, invests $105 million to help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our partners address pandemic-related impacts to wildlife. The funds will support work to prevent future pandemics by combating wildlife trafficking and addressing wildlife diseases that could impact the health and welfare of communities across the nation and around the globe.

“The Service serves on the front lines of the nation’s response to halting wildlife trafficking and to better understanding and preventing wildlife diseases that could lead to global pandemics such as COVID-19,” said Service Principal Deputy Director Martha Williams. “We stand ready to deploy these critical funds to amplify our existing work to protect the American people and cherished wildlife resources at home and abroad.”  

This unprecedented investment will enable the Service to enhance efforts including:

  • $20 million for wildlife inspections, interdictions, investigations and related activities and for efforts to address wildlife trafficking.
  • $30 million for the care of captive species listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, for the care of rescued and confiscated wildlife, and for the care of federal trust species in facilities experiencing lost revenues due to COVID-19.
  • $45 million for research and extension activities to strengthen early detection, rapid response and science-based management to address wildlife disease outbreaks before they become pandemics. The funds also will help strengthen capacity for wildlife health monitoring to enhance early detection of diseases that have the capacity to jump the species barrier and pose a risk in the United States, including the development of a national wildlife disease data base.
  • $10 million to carry out provisions related to restrictions on trade in injurious species and illegal wildlife trade under the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981.

The Interior Department and the Service continue to work with federal, state, local, Tribal and territorial governments, public health officials, health care providers, researchers and the public to execute a whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the health and safety of the American people. More information can be found here: