Recovery Challenge Grants

The Recovery Challenge funding opportunity provides a unique financial assistance opportunity for non-federal partners – both new and longstanding – working on implementing high-priority recovery actions for species listed as endangered and threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) in species recovery plans.


​​The purpose of the ESA is to conserve endangered and threatened species and the ecosystems upon which they depend, and to take appropriate steps to achieve the purposes of treaties and conventions set forth in the ESA. Section 2(a)(5) of the ESA authorizes the use of federal financial assistance to encourage the States and other interested parties to develop and maintain conservation programs to safeguard the nation’s heritage in fish, wildlife, and plants for the benefit of all citizens.  

The Service provides federal financial assistance on a competitive basis to states, other federal agencies, landowners, educators, non-profit organizations, researchers, and other potential partners to secure information about endangered or threatened species, to aid in the recovery of these species under the ESA, and to help conserve the ecosystems upon which they depend.  

​The Recovery Challenge funding opportunity was established in 2018, to enhance and increase partnerships with non-Federal agencies and organizations implementing high priority recovery actions as identified in recovery plans for ESA listed species, and in particular for genetically-sound breeding, rearing, and reintroduction programs. It is funded through annual Congressional appropriations and therefore subject to yearly change in funding availability and program direction from Congress.

Who Can Apply 

Eligible applicants include non-federal U.S. entities and partners, as well as foreign governments and partners conducting projects implementing high-priority recovery actions for listed species within U.S. states and territories.    


Proposals should be submitted through, the online portal to federal grant opportunities. Please note that you must be registered with in order to apply for funding online, and the registration process can take several days. See further information on how to register with  

Detailed guidance on how to prepare proposals is provided in the federal funding opportunity. This document should be read carefully to ensure that proposals meet eligibility requirements and are complete upon submission. Complete instructions for preparing and submitting proposals are also available through

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