Through its Seabird Conservation Program, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) seeks proposals aimed at improving populations of focal seabirds through actions that improve survival and reproduction.
Seabirds represent a diverse group of birds whose life history cycles are intricately linked to marine and coastal resources. Seabirds forage at sea, often far from breeding colonies; disperse over vast distances; and are both colonial and solitary breeders. The overlap of seabirds and humans on oceanic islands and in the marine environment has driven many species to the brink of extinction. Consequently, a major challenge to effective seabird conservation is to mitigate human-induced threats at multiple temporal and spatial scales; in other words, to protect and restore locations used by seabirds throughout their entire life cycle (on both land and at sea).
The 2020 RFP will focus on several geographies within the Pacific, including the following priority regions: Alaska, Chile, California Current (including Mexico), Hawaii, and U.S. overseas lands and territories in the Pacific.
All proposals must specifically address how projects will advance the Pacific Seabird Program Business Plan. In 2020, with only one future RFP planned (2021), NFWF explicitly seeks projects that will advance programmatic strategies and focal species goals, including:
Management of non-native, invasive animals — Introduced animals alter fragile island ecosystems through direct predation on seabirds and by destruction of breeding habitats. NFWF will consider proposals that advance eradications in the Juan Fernandez Islands, Chile; on Guadalupe & Socorro Islands, Mexico; and will also review projects that advance specific actions for focal species, including, predator fencing efforts. Focal regions for this activity include Chile, the California Current, and Hawaii.
Restoration — Invasive plants degrade nesting habitat, sea-level rise threatens low-lying colonies, and human actions can impact survival and reproduction of seabirds. NFWF seeks proposals aligned with focal species and habitat-restoration efforts in Hawaii, species translocations to establish high island sea-level-rise-resilient breeding locations, and that build community and organizational capacity. We also seek proposals that ensure sustainability of investments through support of biosecurity planning. Focal regions for this activity include Chile, California Current, and Hawaii.
Bycatch reduction — Seabird bycatch by fisheries is a global problem, killing hundreds of thousands of seabirds annually. NFWF seeks proposals that foster innovation, outreach, training, and research for the development and adoption of best practices and effective mitigation measures in fisheries with an emphasis on net fisheries (including gill nets) and fisheries that impact albatross and pink-footed shearwater. Focal regions for this activity include Alaska, Chile, California Current, and Hawaii.
Protect seabird prey base — Seabirds are dependent on abundant and available high-quality prey. Loss of prey can have catastrophic effects on breeding success and survival. NFWF will support development of science that seeks to integrate seabirds, as predators, into multi-species fisheries management planning, with a focus on the California Current and Gulf of Alaska.
Research and Monitoring — The wide-ranging, pelagic nature of seabirds is a challenge to understanding and addressing conservation needs. NFWF will invest in research, monitoring, and assessment actions to improve the effectiveness of species conservation, strategies, and the delivery and reporting of conservation actions.
Focal species — For this RFP, NFWF explicitly seeks actions that advance business plan goals, including for the following species: Aleutian tern, ashy storm-petrel, black-footed albatross, Hawaiian petrel, Laysan albatross, Newell’s shearwater, andTownsend’s shearwater.
There are no restrictions on program applicants beyond meeting the minimum 1:1 match expectation (federal and non-federal match are eligible).
The Seabird Conservation Program has approximately $4 million to award in funding for grants in 2020. The majority of awards under the program will range between $50,000 and $500,000; upper or lower limits to award size are not specified. A minimum of a 1:1 match (federal and non-federal match are eligible) of cash and/or in-kind services is required. Project period of performance may range from one to three years.
All proposals will be screened for relevance, accuracy, completeness, and compliance with NFWF and funding source policies. Proposals will then be evaluated based on the extent to which they meet the following criteria.
For additional information, including eligibility criteria and project metrics, see the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation website.