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$4.3 Million for Neotropical Migratory Birds and Habitat Conservation

Wednesday 11 May 2011.

Matched by more than $15.1 million in additional funds from partners, the projects will support habitat restoration, environmental education, population monitoring, and other priority activities within the ranges of neotropical migratory birds in the United States, Canada, Mexico and 13 Latin American and Caribbean countries.

The grants are funded under the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, which supports public-private partnerships carrying out projects in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean that promote the long-term conservation of neotropical migratory birds and their habitats. Neotropical migratory birds breed in Canada and the United States during summer and spend the winter in Mexico, Central America, South America or the Caribbean islands.

“The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act is a catalyst for bird conservation projects, and the grants made under the Act allow bird habitat conservation to take place where it otherwise might not happen,” said Acting Service Director Rowan Gould. “These grants bring together partners to achieve conservation on a far greater scale than would otherwise be possible.”

The more than 340 species of neotropical migratory birds include plovers, terns, hawks, cranes, warblers, and sparrows. The populations of many of these birds are presently in decline, and several species are currently protected as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act of 2000 established a matching grants program to fund projects promoting the conservation of neotropical migratory birds in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Funds may be used to protect, research, monitor, and manage bird populations and habitat as well as to conduct law enforcement and community outreach and education. By law, at least 75 percent of the money goes to projects in Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada, while the remaining 25 percent will go to projects in the United States.

Examples of projects receiving grants include: U.S.-Mexico Grassland Bird Conservation, Phase IX (Mexico, United States) Grantee: Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory This project will continue work funded through the Act since 2002 to conserve grassland bird species of western North America. Partners will conduct grassland bird research and monitoring in Mexico to provide quality data to inform conservation and management of high priority wintering grassland bird species.

They also will conduct training in Mexico to build local capacity for grassland bird conservation and in Colorado to educate students and teachers about grassland birds and habitat.

Conservation Action for Bicknell’s Thrush Across its Range in Canada Grantee: Bird Studies Canada. Project partners will work together across the Bicknell thrush’s breeding range in Canada to mitigate threats and set the stage for long-term species recovery. Primary objectives are to partner with forestry companies and relevant agencies to develop and implement best management practices on industrial forest land and to develop specific habitat and population targets for individual management jurisdictions. Regional and range-wide monitoring programs will evaluate the success of these conservation actions.

More information about all projects awarded grants is on the Web at:  www.fws.gov

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