NFWF Announces $1 Million in Grants from ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation Program

Grants support six projects to protect, restore and monitor declining bird populations

HOUSTON, Nov. 17, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in partnership with ConocoPhillips and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, today announced $1 million in grants that will identify, restore and protect key bird habitats across nine states. The grants will leverage nearly $7.9 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $8.9 million.

The six projects announced today will conserve habitat in Alaska, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming and will collect bird data in an additional five states including Colorado, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico and North Dakota, as well as parts of Canada and Mexico, covering a large area of the Central Flyway.

“From Alaska to Texas and beyond, these grants will help identify, protect and restore key sites that at-risk bird species depend upon for breeding, stopover and wintering habitat,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “Located across a variety of habitats and geographies, each of these grants are built around strong voluntary partnerships that create benefits for birds as well as ranchers, other landowners and rural communities.”

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.

“Since 2005, the ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation Program has supported more than 130 programs aimed at protecting birds across their life cycles, securing essential migratory pathways, and driving innovation that shapes the next generation of conservation,” said Natalie Riley, ConocoPhillips’ director of Community Relations. “We are proud to support this year's program winners and their continued efforts to accelerate the protection of at-risk birds and conservation of vital habitats needed for their survival.”

The projects supported by the six grants announced today will:

  • Protect nearly 2,500 acres of a Wyoming ranch to conserve habitat for migratory birds
  • Restore prime habitat for pheasants, pipit and other grassland species in South Dakota
  • Complete a multi-phase project to expand the Motus radio-telemetry network across the Great Plains and Chihuahuan Desert, using data gathered on grassland bird migration patterns to strategically prioritize habitat conservation
  • Protect 187 acres of key bird habitat including wetlands, uplands, and over one mile of a stream habitat, expanding the Settlers Bay Coastal Park in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in Alaska
  • Restore and enhance more than 1,800 acres of wetlands and 1,100 acres of native prairie for grassland birds and mottled ducks on public lands and conservation easements in coastal Texas
  • Partner with ranchers to enhance at least 1,000 acres of grassland for migratory and resident species through the South Texas Grassland Restoration Incentive Program

“The SPIRIT of Conservation grant program continues to provide support for impactful research and habitat conservation projects vital to migratory birds,” said Service Director Martha Williams. “From grassland restoration in the prairies, sagebrush conservation in the intermountain west, coastal wetlands protection in Alaska, to wetland and native prairie restoration along the Texas coast, the projects funded this year will richly benefit wildlife and people alike.”

Since 2005, the ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation Program has awarded more than $14.9 million to 128 projects. Grantees have provided an additional $46.5 million in matching contributions, for a total conservation impact of $61.5 million. This investment has supported the protection, restoration and enhancement of more than 528,000 acres of habitat for birds and other wildlife.

A complete list of the 2022 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 $7.4 billion. Learn more at

About ConocoPhillips
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, $94 billion of total assets and approximately 9,400 employees at June 30, 2022. Production averaged 1,720 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day for the six months ended June 30, 2022, and proved reserves were 6.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent as of Dec. 31, 2021. For more information, go to

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




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