Traditional Conservation Grants

Traditional Conservation Grants, available through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, provide federal financial assistance to support the development and implementation of state and territorial programs to conserve and monitor species that are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as well as candidate and at-risk species.  


As many species currently listed as federally endangered or threatened spend at least part of their life cycle on non-federal lands, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recognizes that recovery success will ultimately depend on working cooperatively with States and Territories to foster voluntary stewardship efforts on non-federal lands.  

Section 6 of the ESA authorizes the Secretary of Interior to enter into cooperative agreements with States that establish and maintain an adequate and active program for the conservation of threatened and endangered species of fish, wildlife, and plants that are resident in the States. A cooperative agreement sets forth the roles and responsibilities of the State and the Service in the management of threatened and endangered species. Once a State enters into such an agreement, the Service is authorized to provide Federal financial assistance for the implementation of a State's conservation program, through the Traditional Conservation Grant Program.  

Traditional Conservation Grants 

The primary objective of the Traditional Conservation Grant Program is to support the development and implementation of States programs to conserve and recover threated and endangered species under the Service's jurisdiction. Financial assistance, provided in the form of grants, can be used to support projects that have direct benefits for federally listed species, candidate and at-risk species, and recently delisted species. States may apply for funding to conduct conservation work on federally-listed resident species that are included in the State's cooperative agreement. States may also apply for funding to monitor candidate, at-risk, and recently delisted species. Only species delisted due to recovery may receive funding through this grant program.  

View a list of all delisted species and the year delisted.  

Projects proposed for funding may involve management, research, monitoring, and outreach activities or any combination thereof. Applications should include clear and specific information about how the proposed work would contribute to species recovery or prevent the need to list a species under the ESA. Successful applications will be those that clearly demonstrate a direct conservation benefit to the species or its habitat.  

Eligible activities may include, but are not limited to:  

  • Introduction of species into suitable habitats within their historic range  
  • Enhancement or restoration of habitat  
  • Surveys and inventories of habitats  
  • Species status surveys  
  • Propagation of animals and plants  
  • Research such as genetic analysis to determine genetic health and population structure structure
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  • Public education and outreach tools such as website development or coordination workshops with local landowners to address a specific threat to a species  
  • Monitoring of candidate, at-risk and recently recovered species  

View award summaries from previous years. 


To be eligible for funding, a state or territory must currently have, or enter into, a cooperative agreement with the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to section 6(c) of the Endangered Species Act and provide a minimum non-federal cost share of 25 percent, or 10 percent when two or more states or territories implement a joint project. While funding may only be awarded to States, local governments such as counties or groups such as conservation organizations may work in partnership with a State or Territorial agency as a subgrantee.  


States and Territories must submit applications  through Detailed guidance on how to prepare applications is provided in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) available online at and  The NOFO should be read carefully to ensure that applications meet all eligibility requirements and are complete upon submission.


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Partnerships with states are critical to our efforts to conserve listed species. Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act encourages states to develop and maintain conservation programs for threatened and endangered species. Federal funding is available to promote state participation. This library...