NEW YORK (February 27, 2017) –  Through its Climate Adaptation Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) today solicited proposals from nonprofit conservation organizations to explore and implement new methods for helping wildlife adapt to rapidly-shifting environmental conditions brought about by climate change. 

Building on WCS’s 120-year history in long-term conservation efforts, the WCS Climate Adaptation Fund will award up to $2.5 million in grants in 2017. The grants are designed to enable wildlife and ecosystems to adapt to climate change by enhancing dynamic ecological processes and ecosystem functionality, versus projects that benefit a particular species or landscape attribute. Proposed work should focus on improving the adaptive capacity of ecosystems rather than simply conserving or restoring their historic conditions.

The WCS Climate Adaptation Fund is a program made possible by a gift from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.  Past funded projects have facilitated the transition of uplands to tidal marshes in Maryland to reduce excessive inundations and erosion of wetlands (Audubon of Maryland); enabled bottomland hardwood forest stands in Indiana to drain more effectively and store more water to offset increased flood and drought events (Ducks Unlimited); and amended soil around tree plantings in Wisconsin to improve forests’ ability to tolerate increased drought (Sustainable Resources Institute).

Said Darren Long, Director of Climate Adaptation Programs, in WCS’s Conservation Solutions division: “While the impacts of climate change on wildlife and ecosystems in wild places remain WCS’s top priority, the Climate Adaptation Fund’s inclusion of biodiversity-focused adaptation projects around urban areas is an important complement to our existing work. By filling this new niche-- earmarking resources specifically to enhance ecological processes and ecosystem functions--WCS is now branching into new, innovative ways of supporting resilience throughout the U.S.”

To be considered, applicants must incorporate climate adaptation science into their proposals and use strategic communications to increase the conservation impact of their results. The Fund also seeks on-the-ground projects using strategic communications to leverage broader impact through replication of adaptation practices across landscapes.

The winning grant recipients will be non-profit conservation groups implementing on-the-ground field projects designed to initiate conservation actions for climate adaptation in landscapes across the U.S.

Applicants can read the Request for Proposals, Applicant Guidance Document, and complete a Pre-proposal application using our online form no later than 5 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 7, 2017.

For more information on projects previous supported by the WCS Climate Adaptation Fund, videos, and detailed descriptions visit our web site: