State and Tribal Wildlife Grants
The State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program (SWG) provides federal funding to the states for conservation of nongame species and their habitat. The goal of the program is to prevent these species from being listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. This important program supports conservation of species that are not hunted or fished, many of which had no previous source of conservation funding. In addition, the program’s focus on proactive conservation measures designed to halt or prevent population declines is key, as conservation is often more effective and efficient before species undergo declines sufficient to warrant ESA action.
Wildlife Action Plan
As a condition for receiving SWG funds, each state fish and wildlife agency was required to develop a Wildlife Action Plan to establish conservation needs and guide the use of program funds for 10 years. Initially approved in 2005, LDWF’s WAP created a roadmap for nongame conservation in the state. LDWF designed the plan to be a living document that would change as conservation priorities shift or as new threats to Louisiana’s wildlife are identified. As required by the program, LDWF reviewed and revised the plan in 2015 to ensure that it remains an effective tool for conservation planning and implementation. LDWF will conduct another comprehensive review of the WAP in 2025. In the interim, a series of minor revisions will keep the plan relevant and up-to-date. The first minor revision was completed in 2019.
This program is funded through annual Congressional appropriations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service apportions funds to state fish and wildlife agencies based on the land area and population of each state. Since the program’s inception in 2001, Louisiana has received more than $12 million in federal funding. This funding can be used to implement the state’s WAP or for planning purposes to modify, revise, or update the WAP.
Apply for a Grant
LDWF accepts proposals for State and Tribal Wildlife Grants every spring. This includes grant proposals developed by LDWF personnel, nongovernmental organizations, and universities.
LDWF’s SWG Committee (13 wildlife and fishery biologists) reviews grant proposals.
To date, Louisiana has funded more than 150 projects through this program, including:
- Biological inventories
- Ecological research projects
- Habitat assessments
- Habitat management
- Development and maintenance of databases.
These projects have benefitted numerous species in Louisiana:
- Louisiana black bear
- Bald eagle
- Whooping crane
- Swallow-tailed kite
- Alligator snapping turtle
- Mississippi diamond-backed terrapin
- Calcasieu painted crawfish
- Louisiana pearlshell mussel
- Painted bunting.
Research funded by the program has resulted in over 50 peer-reviewed publications, adding considerably to the body of scientific knowledge regarding Louisiana’s rare species.