Migratory birds are critical to the health of natural communities everywhere. Their migrations represent a vital and irreplaceable flow of energy and nutrients among ecosystems across the globe, and they include some of the most spectacular phenomena of the natural world. In addition, they drive many economically important activities, such as bird-watching and tourism. To continue to provide these valuable services, migratory birds require breeding, stopover and wintering habitats so they can complete their annual life cycles. Past and ongoing destruction and degradation of these habitats have contributed to population declines of many migratory bird species in the U.S. and across the world.
To help reduce these threats, the ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation Migratory Bird Program provides grants for conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. Special emphasis is given to projects that address selected high-priority bird species in areas where ConocoPhillips has an operating presence.
Funding priorities for this program include:
- Protecting, restoring, and/or managing habitats for migratory birds
- Benefiting declining, threatened or endangered birds
- Generating measurable outcomes.
Special emphasis is given to projects that generate significant conservation outcomes for high-priority bird species in the vicinity of ConocoPhillips’ facilities and operating areas.
From 2005 through 2011, the SPIRIT of Conservation program awarded 55 grants worth $6.5 million to 30 conservation groups in 12 states and five countries. Grantees matched this funding with an additional $9.9 million, for a total conservation investment of $16.4 million. As a result of this investment, roughly 99,000 acres of critical bird habitat have been protected, restored or enhanced. This work is providing important benefits to numerous species of conservation concern, including red knot, American oystercatcher, Gunnison sage-grouse, greater sage grouse, lesser prairie chicken, Attwater’s prairie chicken, surf scoter, mottled duck, red-cockaded woodpecker, cerulean warbler and whooping crane.
NFWF administers this program with funding and other support from ConocoPhillips and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.