Adaptive Science

The U.S.

Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) uses a science-based, adaptive framework for setting and achieving broad-scale conservation objectives that strategically address the problems fish and wildlife will face in the future.

This framework, called Strategic Habitat Conservation, is

credit: Itchmo
based on the principles of adaptive management and uses population and habitat data, ecological models, and focused monitoring and assessment efforts to develop and implement strategies that result in measurable fish and wildlife population outcomes.

This process uses the best available scientific information to predict how fish and wildlife populations will respond to changes in the environment, thus enabling the USFWS to focus habitat conservation and other management activities where they will be most effective.

In addition, the USFWS needs focused, applied science directed at high impact questions surrounding threats to fish and wildlife resources for which management and/or mitigation is required to maintain species at healthy, sustainable, desired levels.

USFWS must base its decisions on the best science available, in order to defend its regulatory decisions, biological opinions and species conservation recommendations to land managers.
Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2017: Assessment of Impacts of Feral Horses and Livestock Grazing on Sage-Grouse and their Habitats will estimate sage-grouse demographic responses to grazing by horses and livestock and to relate these responses to key vegetation variables.

Fiscal Year 2018: Georeferenced database of stream crossing structures located in identified focal watersheds of Puerto Rico-Project will promote the use of standardized protocols to assess stream crossing structures to improve stream connectivity by the removal or modification of these structures for the benefit of the aquatic fauna.

Fiscal Year 2019: Program has not yet selected projects for funding.

Program anticipates funding projects that support the best available scientific information to predict how fish and wildlife populations will respond to changes in the environment.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

Contacts for regional science programs can be found on the Internet at: Region 1- Region 2- Region 3- Region 4- Region 5- Region 6- Region 7- Region 8-

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Fish, Wildlife And Parks, Montana Department Of $ 300,000   2018-12-012023-11-30
Fish & Wildlife, Washington State Department Of $ 300,000   2019-07-012023-06-30
Natural Resources, Colorado Department Of $ 265,500   2019-04-152022-06-30
University Of Wyoming $ 300,000   2019-03-052022-01-01
Game And Fish Commission, Wyoming $ 300,000   2018-10-012021-09-30
California Department Of Fish And Wildlife $ 299,989   2019-04-012021-06-30
Wildlife, Nevada Department Of $ 282,975   2018-11-012021-06-30
Game & Fish, New Mexico Department Of $ 300,000   2019-07-012021-06-30
Game And Fish, Arizona Dept Of $ 57,000   2019-01-012020-12-31
Game And Fish, Arizona Dept Of $ 63,634   2018-12-312020-12-31

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2017: Program received 15 applications and issued 7 awards. Fiscal Year 2018: Program anticipates receiving 17 applications and issuing 10 awards. Fiscal Year 2019: Program anticipates no award activity.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Support will be provided for science projects: to include species risk and vulnerability assessments, inventory and monitoring, population and habitat assessments, biological planning and conservation design, ecosystem services, traditional ecological knowledge management evaluation and research, decision support, data management, and conservation genetics; to identify and implement landscape-scale conservation solutions to such issues as adaptation, land use change, invasive species spread, and fire frequency changes; and to address high impact questions surrounding threats to fish wildlife, and plants, providing answers needed to manage species to healthy, sustainable, desired levels.

Support will be provided for convening partners for collaborative conservation planning and prioritization; to articulate shared priorities; identify gaps in scientific knowledge and capacity; and complement and build upon each other?s efforts to avoid duplication while maximizing resources, to help federal, state, and tribal agencies fulfill our public trust responsibilities for fish and wildlife conservation.

Support will be provided to communicate science information, tools, assessments, and other products.

This program is administered in compliance with the Federal Grants and Cooperative Agreements Act of 1977, as amended.

These funds may not be used towards training U. S. Federal Government personnel.

100% of funding is discretionary.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility


Beneficiary Eligibility



. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is required.

An environmental impact statement is required for this program.

An environmental impact assessment is required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Funding opportunity announcements and complete application instructions are posted online at at All applicants must submit a complete, signed Standard Form 424, Application for Federal Assistance.

Award Procedures

The USFWS Directorate identifies priority needs. Applications for funding will be reviewed and approved by USFWS staff based on the project-specific review criteria to be detailed in the funding opportunity posting. USFWS staff will notify applicants of review results by either issuing a fully executed Award either electronically or through the mail, or by sending written notification to the applicant that the application will not be funded.


Not Applicable.


The Fish and Wildlife Act, 16 U.S.C. §§742a-742j, not including §742 d-1; National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act, 16 U.S.C. §§668dd-ee; Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. §1531 et seq.; Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act,16 U.S.C. §2901 et seq.; Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, 16 U.S.C. §§661-666; and Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 16 U.S.C. §703 et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 120 to 180 days. Typically within 180 days of proposal receipt.


Not Applicable.


None. However, at the request of the recipient and as approved by USFWS, active awards may be amended (e.g., time extensions or budget changes).

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. This program has no matching requirements. However, to the extent possible, recipient in-kind and/or cash match is encouraged. This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Project period of performance may be up to five years. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funds are disbursed to recipients as requested and in accordance with 2 CFR 200, Subpart E-Cost Principles, or as otherwise prescribed in program-specific legislation or special award terms.

Post Assistance Requirements


Performance reports are to be submitted in accordance with the specific reporting requirements as detailed in the Award document.

At a minimum, a performance report will be required annually, within 30 calendar days after the annual anniversary date.

Final performance reports are required within 90 calendar days from the end date of the award.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Progress reports are not applicable.

SF-425, Federal Financial Reports are to be submitted in accordance with the specific reporting requirements as detailed in the Award document.

At a minimum, a financial report will be required annually, within 30 calendar days after the annual anniversary date.

Final SF-425, Federal Financial Reports are required within 90 calendar days from the end date of the award.

Recipients are responsible for monitoring and reporting performance of each award and sub-award under this program in accordance with 2 CFR 200 and 2 CFR Part 170.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.


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. Cost records must be maintained separately for each grant. Records, accounts, and supporting documents must be retained for three years after submission of the final reports.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 17 $744,977; FY 18 est $2,300,000; and FY 19 est $2,300,000 - Project Grants (Discretionary): FY17 $744,977; FY18 $2,300,000; FY19 $2,300,0000 FY18 and FY19 amounts are estimates based on prior year funding levels.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Range is $1,000 - $1,000,000. Average award amount varies by project type and duration.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Per, acceptance of a Federal Financial award from the Department of the Interior carries with it the responsibility to be aware of and comply with the terms and conditions of the award. Acceptance is defined as starting work, drawing down funds, or accepting the award via electronic means. Awards are based on the application submitted to, and as approved by the Department of the Interior and are subject to the terms and conditions incorporated in to the Award either directly or by reference to the following: Program legislation/regulation, assurances, special conditions, the Code of Federal Regulations, and other regulatory requirements, as applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. Contacts for regional science programs can be found on the Internet at: Region 1- Region 2- Region 3- Region 4- Region 5- Region 6- Region 7- Region 8-

Headquarters Office

Anna-Marie York U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, 5275 Leesburg Pike MS: SA, Falls Church, Virginia 22041-3803 Email: Phone: (703)358-1881

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Proposed projects will be selected on the basis of how well they meet the program and/or project-specific criteria detailed in individual Adaptive Science funding opportunity postings. Criteria will vary depending on the scope of the program or project for which applications are being accepted.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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