NFWF Announces $1.1 Million in Grants to Support Bird Conservation along the Central Flyway
Awarded through the ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation Program, grants will support six projects to protect, restore and monitor declining bird populations
HOUSTON, Dec. 11, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in partnership with ConocoPhillips and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, today announced $1.1 million in grants that will identify, restore and protect key bird habitats across five states. The grants will leverage $1.5 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $2.6 million.
The six projects announced today will conserve habitat in Louisiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming, covering a large area of the Central Flyway in the United States. The Central Flyway includes parts of Canada, the United States, Central America and South America. It serves as a corridor for birds traveling from their breeding grounds to areas where they spend the winter.
“Across the United States, migratory birds and other wildlife require connected habitats to complete their annual lifecycles,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “These new grants under the ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation Program will enable private landowners and ranchers to voluntarily restore and protect high-quality habitats that support migratory and non-migratory birds.”
The grants were awarded through the ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation Program, a partnership among NFWF, ConocoPhillips and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. With a goal of conserving and recovering populations of imperiled birds, the partnership supports work to improve the quality and connectivity of important bird habitats and accelerate innovations for understanding bird conservation needs across their ranges.
“We congratulate this year’s SPIRIT of Conservation Program winners and their commitment to protecting and restoring habitat critical for migratory bird species survival,” said Natalie Riley, ConocoPhillips’ director of Community Relations. “By working together towards a shared vision, we hope to reverse species decline trends and achieve long-lasting ecological gains.”
The projects supported by the six grants announced today will:
- Protect 2,170 acres of a Wyoming ranch to conserve habitat for migratory birds
- Partner with private landowners in Louisiana to improve 4,500 acres of habitat for mottled ducks and grassland birds through the Coastal Grassland Restoration Incentive Program
- Collaborate with private landowners in eastern South Dakota to evaluate 600 conservation easements that will improve habitat for wetland and grassland-dependent birds
- Protect 110 acres of coastal prairie in Texas to conserve habitat for migratory birds
- Work with private landowners in eastern North Dakota to implement conservation grazing on 4,180 acres to improve habitat for grassland birds
- Improve 6,500 acres in northeast Wyoming to enhance habitat connectivity for greater sage grouse and other birds in grassland and sagebrush ecosystems
“Today’s communities and wildlife habitats face sizeable conservation challenges like climate change, loss of habitat and invasive species,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams. “Private landowners make critical contributions to conservation through partnerships that improve habitats and landscapes, and the Service is proud to partner with this year’s SPIRIT of Conservation Program recipients as they restore and protect bird habitats for the benefit of people and wildlife.”
Since 2005, the ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation Program has awarded more than $16 million to 134 projects. Grantees have provided an additional $48 million in matching contributions, for a total conservation impact of $64 million. This investment has supported the protection, restoration and enhancement of more than 540,000 acres of habitat for birds and other wildlife.
A complete list of the 2023 grants made through the ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation Program is available here.
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate, foundation and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 6,000 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of $8.1 billion. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
ConocoPhillips is one of the world’s leading exploration and production companies based on both production and reserves, with a globally diversified asset portfolio. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, ConocoPhillips had operations and activities in 13 countries, $90 billion of total assets, and approximately 9,700 employees at June 30, 2023. Production averaged 1,798 MBOED for the six months ended June 30, 2023, and proved reserves were 6.1 BBOE as of Dec. 31, 2022. For more information, go to www.conocophillips.com.
About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
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.
CONTACT: Rob Blumenthal National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (202) 857-0166 [email protected]
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