Marine Turtle Conservation Fund -- Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Fund

Funding Agency:
US Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) mission is to work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The International Affairs Program delivers on this mission through its financial and technical assistance programs by supporting strategic projects that deliver measurable conservation results for priority species and their habitats around the world.

Turtles represent one of the most imperiled animal groups on earth. Of the world’s 342 species of tortoises and freshwater turtles, more than half face the threat of extinction. Habitat loss and the legal and illegal trade of turtles and turtle products (for food, pets, and traditional medicines, etc.) continue to drive sharp declines in turtle populations globally. Recognizing the ecological value and alarming declines of turtles worldwide, the U.S. Congress established a conservation fund for tortoises and freshwater turtles (through the John Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, 2019, Public Law 116-9*), signed into law on March 12, 2019. The Service’s Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Conservation Fund is soliciting proposals that conserve threatened tortoise and freshwater turtle species that occur in foreign countries and in territories of the United States.

Proposed work must occur outside of the 50 U.S. states or must demonstrate substantive conservation benefits to populations outside of the 50 U.S. states. The primary purpose of this new conservation fund is to provide financial support for projects that conserve populations and habitats of freshwater turtles and tortoises and address threats to their survival. The United States, second only to Asia in diversity of turtle species, has acted in recent decades as a steward of chelonian conservation, and this fund allows the Service to expand efforts to protect imperiled turtle species around the world.

The goal of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle (TFT) Conservation Program is to recover and maintain viable populations of tortoise and freshwater turtles in the wild by addressing the critical threats to their survival. We do this through financial and technical assistance to support evidence-based interventions and regular evaluations that inform our tortoise and freshwater turtle conservation strategy and carry out the purpose of the Marine Turtle Conservation Act (MTCA).

Deadline:  Feb. 19, 2024

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants may be individuals, multinational secretariats, foreign national and local government agencies, U.S. and foreign non-profits, non-governmental organizations, for-profit organizations, community and Indigenous organizations, U.S. and foreign public and private institutions of higher education, and U.S. territorial governments.

Amount Description

Maximum Award

Minimum Award

Funding Type





Environmental & Life Sciences
International Opportunities

External Deadline

February 19, 2024