Combating Wildlife Trafficking


The goal of this grant program is to provide financial assistance to innovative projects that advance counter-wildlife trafficking activities (wildlife defined to include terrestrial and aquatic species and timber). The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) is identified as a lead or a participating agency in all of the Strategic Priorities stemming from the Presidents Implementation Plan of the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of The Interior
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2017 The program anticipates receiving approximately 172 proposals, and issuing 15 awards. The program received 117 applications and issued 35 awards.
Fiscal Year 2018 In FY18, the program received 64 applications and issued 14 awards.
Fiscal Year 2019 In FY19, the program received 61 applications and issued 30 awards and two amendments for additional funds.
Fiscal Year 2020 In FY20, no projects were identified for funding.
Fiscal Year 2021 In FY21 the program received 19 cost amendment requests for continuation funding (Year 2) and issued 19 cost amendments.
Fiscal Year 2022 CWT program received 16 proposals in response to the Species Conservation Catalyst Fund Notice of Funding Opportunity. A total of 10 awards were funded.
Fiscal Year 2023 Program expects to receive cost amendment requests for seven SCCF projects for the continuation of funding.
Fiscal Year 2024 Program anticipates receiving 10 proposals for the SCCF songbird initiative.
Endangered Species Act—International Cooperation,16 U.S.C. §1537; E.N.D. Wildlife Trafficking Act of 2016, P.L. 114-231; and Executive Order 13773, signed February 09, 2017.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Non-domestic (outside of the United States) government agencies responsible for combating wildlife trafficking and any other U.S.- based or non-domestic public or private non-governmental organization or institution or individual with demonstrated experience in the activities proposed.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Not applicable.
Federal law (2 CFR Part 25, Universal Identifier and System for Award Management) mandates that all entities applying for Federal financial assistance, except individuals applying on their own behalf and not on behalf of any entity, must have a valid Dun & Bradstreet Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number and have a current registration in the System for Award Management (SAM). Applicant entities or their key project personnel identified in the Exclusions database as ineligible, prohibited/restricted or excluded from receiving Federal contracts, certain subcontracts, and certain Federal assistance and benefits will not be considered for Federal funding, as applicable to the funding being requested under this Federal program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. The pre-application announcement and program announcement, and application instructions for this program can be found at the website: Complete application information can also be found at or, if unable to access the website, by requesting a paper copy from the Division of International Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS:IA, Falls Church, Virginia, 22041, Telephone: (703) 358-1754. An application will not be considered complete if required elements are not submitted as instructed.
Award Procedure
Pre-applications and subsequent full applications are reviewed and competitively selected for funding based on established criteria. Review criteria can be found in the Notice of Funding Opportunity posted on the Internet at Once a proposal has been selected for funding, an FWS approving official executes an Assistance Award between the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Recipient. Fully executed awards are sent to the Recipient electronically.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 90 to 120 days. Decisions on Pre-applications are made within 90 days from the submission deadline. Decisions on full applications are typically made within 180 days after the receipt of the application, but not later than September 30 each year.
Not applicable.
Recipients may request funding for a subsequent year/cycle of a currently funded project. However, these requests are subject to the same submission, review, and approval requirements as all new applications. This program will fund any approved renewal application as new award, not as an amendment to an existing award. Recipients may request approval for budget and project plan revisions of funded projects, including period of performance and reporting due date extensions, in accordance with 2 CFR 200.
How are proposals selected?
Review criteria can be found in the Notice of Funding Opportunity posted at
How may assistance be used?
Funds provided under this program will not be used for: the purchase of firearms or ammunitions; buying of Intelligence information or paying informants; gathering information by persons who conceal their true identity; law enforcement operations that prompt suspects to carry out illegal activities so they may be arrested (entrapment); or any activity that would circumvent sanctions, laws or regulations of either the U.S. or the country in which the activity would occur.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Performance reports are required. Recipients must monitor and report on project performance in accordance with the requirements in 2 CFR 200.329. A final performance report is due within 120 calendar days of the award period of performance end date, unless the awarding program approves a due date extension. The FWS details all reporting requirements including frequency and due dates in Notices of Award.
Not applicable.
Recipients will maintain records in accordance with 2 CFR 200. Program-specific legislation/regulation may dictate additional records retention requirements. Program will detail all non-standard records retention requirements in the notice of award.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Program will include any special award terms and conditions in the notice of award. Program obligates funds and sends a notice of award to successful applicants. Recipients request awarded funds as needed and in accordance with 2 CFR 200, unless otherwise dictated by program-specific legislation/regulation or special award terms.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Devon Larson
Headquarters Office
Division of International Conservation
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: IA
Falls Church, VA 22041 US
Phone: (703) 358-2134
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 22$2,400,000.00; FY 23 est $1,400,000.00; FY 24 est $1,400,000.00; FY 21$1,400,000.00; FY 20$0.00; FY 19$3,176,164.00; FY 18$3,257,723.00; FY 17$4,866,038.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Average is $100,000 or less each to be used for projects lasting one year.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Acceptance of a grant or cooperative agreement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service carries with it the responsibility to be aware of and comply with the terms and conditions of award. Service Award Terms and Conditions are available at Acceptance is defined as the start of work, drawing down funds, or accepting the award via electronic means. Awards are based on the application submitted to and approved by the Service. Awards from the Service are subject to the terms and conditions incorporated into the award either by direct citation or by reference to the following: Federal regulations; program legislation or regulation; and special award terms and conditions. The Service financial assistance award terms and conditions flow down to subrecipients and contractors, unless a particular award term or condition specifically indicates otherwise.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2017 Program anticipates funding projects that are effective and similar in scope as those of FY2016. The program supported: 1) A project to enhance education and training to CITES Authorities in Central America and the Caribbean; 2) a project aimed at Building Law Enforcement and Community Capacity to Reduce the Pangolin Trade in Nepal; 3) a project to combat poaching and illegal trade of the snow leopard across its range through improved data collation, information generation, information sharing, and international cooperation.
Fiscal Year 2018 The program anticipates funding projects that help advance counter-wildlife trafficking activities.
Fiscal Year 2019 The program selected projects for funding that address the illegal trade and harvest of species globally and strengthen the capacity of other countries to implement the CITES Convention.
Fiscal Year 2020 No projects were identified for funding.
Fiscal Year 2021 The program continued support for projects that counter wildlife trafficking, including the following: (1) Combating Trafficking of Critically Endangered Saiga Antelope in Kazakhstan. The purpose of this project is to counter the trafficking of wildlife products in Kazakhstan and to conserve the critically endangered saiga antelope with a focus on the Ustyurt saiga population. The project will address the poaching of saiga and trafficking in saiga horn and derivatives, which is becoming more sophisticated and adaptive to law enforcement responses. (2) Mapping Illicit Trafficking Networks and Strengthening Law Enforcement Capacity to Combat Cheetah Trade in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The purpose of this project is to disrupt and reduce the illicit trade of live cheetahs trafficked in Somaliland and the greater East Africa-Arabian Peninsula region through effective enforcement of wildlife laws and enhanced capacity of law enforcement and judicial authorities. This project is intended to conserve cheetahs by identifying undetected wild populations and strengthening law enforcement capacity. (3) Scarlet Macaw Protection, Recovery, and Conservation Actions in the Selva Lacandona, Mexico. The purpose of this project is to recover and protect the scarlet macaw population and its habitat in the Lacantun River Basin, state of Chiapas and Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve, state of Veracruz.
Fiscal Year 2022 In 2022, the Combating Wildlife Trafficking program launched its new initiative, the Species Conservation Catalyst Fund (SCCF), which aims to reduce wildlife trafficking within complex social-ecological systems by supporting recipients to (1) provide a more empirical understanding of the contexts in which species are trafficked, and/or (2) develop, implement, and evaluate activities that reduce the threat of trafficking to species populations. The SCCF is designed to support capacity building among project partners to sustain conservation impact by attracting additional funding, attention, and other resources for the species. The first species supported through the SCCF are (1) saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica and Saiga borealis) in Central Asia, and (2) cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) in the Horn of Africa. Projects span between 2-5 years. (1) Combating Trafficking of Critically Endangered Saiga Antelope in Central Asia. Six projects were funded to address the poaching of saiga and trafficking in saiga horn and derivatives. Projects supported in FY2022 are located in seven saiga range, transit, or consumer countries, including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, China, Malaysia, Mongolia, Japan, and Singapore, with some projects spanning multiple countries. Projects aim to address the drivers of poaching, strengthen local monitoring teams, support effective management of saiga horn stockpiles, and establish data on the rates of consumption and underlying drivers of saiga horn use. (2) Combating Trafficking of live Cheetah cubs from East Africa to the Arabian Peninsula. Four projects were funded to disrupt and reduce the illicit trade of live cheetahs trafficked from the Horn of Africa to Arabian Peninsula region. Project goals including monitoring cheetah populations in the Horn of Africa to inform conservation action plans, strengthen law enforcement and monitoring networks in consumer and demand countries, and to establish baseline data on the drivers for both poaching and purchasing of cheetah cubs. The SCCF cheetah partners are implanting activities throughout the Horn of Africa and in Saudi Arabia.
Fiscal Year 2023 The CWT program will continue to fund on-going projects through the FY22 saiga and cheetah SCCF initiative.
Fiscal Year 2024 The CWT program will fund a third taxa through the SCCF focusing on the illegal trade of songbirds from Latin America and the Caribbean to primarily supply singing competitions.


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