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FY 2021 Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (CESCF) Traditional Conservation Grants Program

Grants to USA State Government Agencies to
Protect Endangered Species on Private Lands

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) - Ecological Services

Deadline Date:

05/12/21 11:59 PM EST Receipt


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Grants to USA and Territories state-level government agencies for the preservation of endangered and threatened wildlife living on privately-owned lands. Applicants are advised that required registrations must be completed prior to applying. Funding is intended for management, research, monitoring, and outreach activities, or any combination thereof.

The principal objective of the Traditional Conservation Grant program is to support the development and implementation of States’ programs to conserve and recover threatened 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 conservation benefits for federally listed species, candidate and at-risk species, and recently delisted species. States may apply for funding to conduct 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. Candidate Species are those that the Service determined warrant listing as a threatened or endangered species, but the listing is precluded by other higher priority actions.

For the purposes of this Notice of Funding Opportunity, we are considering certain “at-risk” species in addition to Candidate Species: 1) those species that are the subject of a positive 90-day finding but not yet the subject of a proposed rule, 2) species that are the subject of a proposed listing rule but not a final rule or 3) species for which the Service has initiated an ESA status review and has announced the review in the Federal Register, and 4) species included on the National Listing Work Plan. A full list of at-risk species can be found in Attachment A. Further, recently delisted, for purposes of this solicitation, are those species delisted within the past five years. Only species delisted due to recovery may receive funding under this solicitation.

Proposals 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
  • 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

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 179476

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Term of Contract:

Awarded grant funds must be expended in a timely manner or returned to the Service for reallocation through the next grant award cycle. The maximum period of performance (PoP) for a grant awarded through this notice is three years from the effective date established at the time of grant approval or the date of award obligation, whichever is earlier.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Only State agencies that have entered into a cooperative agreement with the Service pursuant to section 6(c) of the ESA or enter into/reconfirm such an agreement within 30 days of the application deadline are eligible to apply under this funding opportunity. The Service requires a complete, signed cooperative agreement before it can obligate Federal funds to a project [50 CFR 81.3, 50 CFR 81.5, 43 CFR 12.50(b)(3)]. While funding can only be granted to States, individuals or groups (for example counties or conservation organizations) may work with a State agency that has a cooperative agreement on conservation efforts that are mutually beneficial, as a subgrantee.

Excluded Parties: FWS conducts a review of the Exclusions database for all applicant entities and their key project personnel prior to award. The Bureau cannot award funds to entities or their key project personnel identified in the Exclusions database as ineligible, prohibited/restricted or otherwise excluded from receiving Federal contracts, certain subcontracts, and certain Federal assistance and benefits, as their ineligibility condition applies to this Federal program.

This program does not provide funding to foreign entities or for projects conducted outside the United States.

Pre-Application Information:

The Service will not review or consider applications received after 11:59 PM EST on May 12, 2021, regardless of submission method. This program encourages the submission of applications online through or as applicants will receive an acknowledgement of application receipt.

Pre-award notifications will be made as early in 2021 as possible. The Service’s goal is to obligate CESCF funds within 120 days of pre-award notification.

In accordance with section 6(d) of the ESA, the minimum non-Federal cost share is 25 percent of the total project cost, i.e., the amount requested from the program plus the amount of non‐Federal cost share. Other funds related to the project, but not designated as cost share, should not be included in the total project costs when calculating minimum non-Federal cost share. If an application involves the collaboration of two or more States, the minimum non-Federal cost share decreases to 10 percent of the total project cost.

In accordance with 48 United States Code (U.S.C.) 1469(a), Amendment of Subsection (d), the Regional Director shall waive up to $200,000 of the required match for each grant awarded to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Applicants are required to obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet and then register in prior to submitting a Federal award application.

Applications for continuation projects must include a brief discussion of accomplishments to date and a justification for the continuation in the Project Narrative.

If submitting the application via, applicants must first register an account with and complete all steps of the registration process before they can apply. Registration can take three to five business days or longer.

For a list of relevant application documents, go to the Package tab (press Preview) when viewing this opportunity on

How to Apply:


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For a full list of agency contacts for each region, see the fact sheet in Supporting Documents below.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Ecological Services Program
5275 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041

CFDA Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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