Hawaiian Forest Birds 2020 Request for Proposals

Full Proposal Due Date: November 21, 2019 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time


Since 1800, five bird species have become extinct in Nor​th America; two additional species are presumed extinct and two sub-species have disappeared. Overall, bird extinctions in North America are a rare event. In contrast, in Hawaii, a minimum of 31 bird species have become extinct since 1800 including 10 in the last 50 years. Further, 14 of 24 endemic forest birds are endangered. Pervasive and ongoing threats for forest birds include avian malaria and other non-native pathogens, invasive predators (rats, mongoose, cats and barn owls), habitat loss and degradation (pigs, development), invasive plants (Strawberry guava, Himalayan ginger), competition from introduced birds and environmental change (e.g. changes in temperature and precipitation). In 2009, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and partners developed the business plan for the conservation of Hawaiian Forest Birds to mitigate pervasive threats (Hawaiian Forest Birds Business Plan). The program focuses on strategic investments to secure populations of three species - Palila, Maui parrotbill, and Nihoa millerbird with an ancillary goal of applying lessons learned through focused recovery of these species to additional threatened Hawaiian forest bird species. Since 2014, the foundation has also provided funding for actions targeting four additional listed species (Alala, Akikiki, Akeke’e and Puaiohi) including support for the reintroduction of Alala to native forests on the big island. This request for proposals will award up to $410,000 in federal funding in support of Hawaiian Forest bird conservation efforts. 

Geographic Focus

This program focuses on the endemic forest birds of the Hawaiian Islands. Current geographic priorities include Laysan Island, Nihoa Island, Kauai, Maui and the island of Hawaii. 

Program Priorities

All proposals must specifically address how projects will measurably contribute to the Hawaiian Forest Bird program goals (Hawaiian Forest Birds Business Plan). In 2020, the Hawaiian Forest Bird program seeks projects in the following program priority areas: 

  1. Maui parrotbill:  The business plan emphasizes the establishment of a second population on leeward Maui to reduce long-term extinction risk. In 2020, we seek proposals that continue parrotbill translocations and support for monitoring of translocated individuals; support for habitat restoration and predator management activities will also be considered.
  2. Palila:  In 2020, we seek proposals that continue monitoring population response to management actions, and that foster, and accelerate Palili recovery efforts. Priorities include support for Palila reintroduction and translocation efforts to establish additional breeding locations on Mauna Kea; habitat restoration monitoring to evaluate forest condition and recovery and to inform restoration planning and implementation efforts, ungulate fence monitoring and repair, predator management and population survey analyses. 
  3. Alala and Hawaii forest birds:  The Alala release plan (2013) outlines a 5-year strategy for re-introducing Alala to native forest on the island of Hawaii. We seek proposals in support of Alala reintroduction; specific activities of interest include monitoring survival and breeding behavior of released Alala and predator management. 
  4. Kauai forest birds: Since 2014, NFWF has supported actions to increase rodent managment to improve nesting success of Kauai forest birds. In 2020, we seek proposals that continue implementation of rodent management actions at critical sites, provide capacity and support monitoring to assess the effectiveness of rodent management for Akeke'e, Akikiki and Puaiohi.
  5. Mosquito control: In Hawaii, distributions of endemic forest birds are inversely related to the distribution of avian malaria and Culex quinquefasciatus (Southern house mosquito). Low levels of immunity, changing distributions of C. quinquefasciatus combined with surveys of native and non-native birds across the state reveal clear evidence that disease is a significant driver of population change. To be successful, a landscape scale approach will be critical, and ultimately a toolbox of techniques will be necessary to advance mosquito control. In 2020, we will consider support to:
    1. Coordinate stakeholders involved in advancing efforts to register a Wolbachia mosquito bio pesticide, including federal, state, NGO and University entities.
    2. Work with regulatory agencies to advance the registration / permitting of a Wolbachia mosquito bio pesticide
    3. Communicate with stakeholders on progress of efforts to protect native birds by controlling invasive mosquitoes and incorporate feedback into plans.

Project Metrics

To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grants, the Hawaiian Forest Bird Program has a list of metrics in Easygrants for applicants to choose from for reporting. We ask that applicants select only the most relevant metrics from this list for their project (all possible program metrics are not shown in the table below, the table summarizes the most appropriate metrics for desired activities).  If you believe an applicable metric is missing, please contact Scott Hall (Scott.Hall@NFWF.org​) to discuss acceptable alternatives.

Project Activity Recommended Metric Additional Guidance
Habitat Restoration Land, wetland restoration - Acres restored (directly) Enter the number of acres restored (Notes helpful, especially with respect to reporting acres restored to date, new acres restored during period of performance, # plants installed).
Habitat Management Best Management Practice (BMP) implementation for fencing improvements - Miles of fencing improved
Improved management practices – Acres under improved management
Enter the number of miles of fencing improved (i.e. maintained for critical habitat)
Enter the number of acres under improved management (i.e. total acres within Palila core habitat improved due to management actions)
Predator Management Predator removal/ Fencing nests from predators - Acres with goals met. Enter the number of acres with predation reduction goals met. (It is helpful to define the area with respect to species range and to include the number of predators (by taxa) removed). ​
Translocation/Re-introduction # translocated / # released Enter the number of individuals translocated or released (OK to add # released for Alala)
Species Outcomes Population - # individuals Enter the number of individuals or population estimate (Millerbird and Palila) or the number of individuals monitored (Alala).
Planning, Research and Monitoring Research - # studies used to inform management The number of studies completed whose findings are used to adapt management/ inform management decisions. (List research studies by species, provide notes on the context of the work towards project or species goals)
Capacity and Outreach   Capacity and outreach metrics are not tracked for this program, however metrics reporting the # of volunteers participating in conservation activities and the number of Part Time Employee and Full Time Employee participating in conservation projects are encouraged. In addition, metrics reporting increased knowledge are also welcomed.


Eligible and Ineligible Entities

  • Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Indian tribes, educational institutions, international organizations.
  • Ineligible applicants include U.S. Federal government agencies,  businesses, unincorporated individuals.

Ineligible Uses of Grant Funds 

  • NFWF funds and matching contributions may not be used to support political advocacy, fundraising, lobbying, litigation, terrorist activities or Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
  • NFWF funds may not be used to support ongoing efforts to comply with legal requirements, including permit conditions, mitigation and settlement agreements. However, grant funds may be used to support projects that enhance or improve upon existing baseline compliance efforts. 

Funding Availability And Match

The Hawaiian Forest Bird Program has approximately $410,000 to award in funding for grants this year. The majority of awards under this program will fall in the range of $50,000 to $250,000 range. However upper or lower limits to award size are not specified. A minimum of a 1:1 non-Federal match of cash and/or in-kind services is required and will be considered in application review. Projects may extend from one to three years. 

Evaluation Criteria

All proposals will be screened for relevance, accuracy, completeness and compliance with NFWF and funding source policies. Proposals will then be evaluated based on the extent to which they meet the following criteria.

Program Goals and Priorities – Project contributes to the Program’s overall habitat and species conservation goals, and has specific, quantifiable performance metrics to evaluate project success. Project addresses one or more of the program priorities.

Technical Merit – Project is technically sound and feasible, and the proposal sets forth a clear, logical and achievable work plan and timeline. Project engages appropriate technical experts throughout project planning, design and implementation to ensure activities are technically-sound and feasible.

Cost-Effectiveness – Project includes a cost-effective budget that balances performance risk and efficient use of funds.  Cost-effectiveness evaluation may include, but is not limited to, an assessment of either or both direct and indirect costs in the proposed budget. The federal government has determined that a de minimis 10% indirect rate is an acceptable minimum for organizations without a NICRA, as such NFWF reserves the right to scrutinize ALL proposals with indirect rates above 10% for cost-effectiveness.  

Transferability – Project has potential and plan to transfer lessons learned to other communities and/or to be integrated into government programs and policies.

Communication – Project includes a detailed plan to communicate information about the project to appropriate audiences.

Funding Need – Project establishes a clear need for the funds being requested, and demonstrates that activities would not move forward absent funding.

Conservation Plan and Context – The project advances an existing conservation plan or strategy. 

Monitoring – Project includes a plan for monitoring progress during and after the proposed project period to track project success and adaptively address new challenges and opportunities as they arise. 

Long-term Sustainability – Project will be maintained to ensure benefits are achieved and sustained over time. This should include how future funding will be secured to implement necessary long-term monitoring and maintenance activities.

Past Success – Applicant has a proven track record of success in implementing conservation practices with specific, measurable results.

Partnership – An appropriate partnership exists to implement the project and the project is supported by a strong local partnership that leverages additional funds and will sustain it after the life of the grant. Identify proposed partners, if known (including potential or contemplated subawards to third party subrecipients of the applicant), the roles they will play in implementing the project, and how this project will build new or enhance existing partnerships.  (Note: a project partner is any local community, non-profit organization, tribe, and/or local, state, and federal government agency that contributes to the project in a substantial way and is closely involved in the completion of the project.)


Budget – Costs are allowable, reasonable and budgeted in accordance with NFWF’s Budget Instructions cost categories.  Federally-funded projects must be in compliance with OMB Uniform Guidance as applicable.

Matching Contributions – Matching Contributions consist of cash, contributed goods and services, volunteer hours, and/or property raised and spent for the Project during the Period of Performance. Larger match ratios and matching fund contributions from a diversity of partners are encouraged and will be more competitive during application review.

Procurement – If the applicant chooses to specifically identify proposed Contractor(s) for Services, an award by NFWF to the applicant does not constitute NFWF’s express written authorization for the applicant to procure such specific services noncompetitively.  When procuring goods and services, NFWF recipients must follow documented procurement procedures which reflect applicable laws and regulations.  

Publicity and Acknowledgement of Support – Award recipients will be required to grant NFWF the right and authority to publicize the project and NFWF’s financial support for the grant in press releases, publications and other public communications.  Recipients may also be asked by NFWF to provide high-resolution (minimum 300 dpi) photographs depicting the project.

Receiving Award Funds – Award payments are primarily reimbursable.  Projects may request funds for reimbursement at any time after completing a signed agreement with NFWF.  A request of an advance of funds must be due to an imminent need of expenditure and must detail how the funds will be used and provide justification and a timeline for expected disbursement of these funds.

Compliance Requirements – Projects selected may be subject to requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act (state and federal), and National Historic Preservation Act.  Documentation of compliance with these regulations must be approved by NFWF’s Hawaiian Forest Birds 2020 RFP programmatic funders: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or the USDA Forest Service prior to initiating activities that disturb or alter habitat or other features of the project site(s) on federal or non-federal lands.  Applicants should budget time and resources to obtain the needed approvals.  As may be applicable, successful applicants may be required to comply with additional Federal, state or local requirements and obtain all necessary permits and clearances.

Quality Assurance – If a project involves significant monitoring, data collection or data use, grantees will be asked to prepare and submit quality assurance documentation (www.epa.gov/quality).  Applicants should budget time and resources to complete this task.

Permits – Successful applicants will be required to provide sufficient documentation that the project expects to receive or has received all necessary permits and clearances to comply with any Federal, state or local requirements.  

Federal Funding – The availability of federal funds estimated in this solicitation is contingent upon the federal appropriations process. Funding decisions will be made based on level of funding and timing of when it is received by NFWF.


Dates of activities are subject to change.  Please check the Program page of the NFWF website for the most current dates and information (http://www.nfwf.org/hawaiiconservation/hawaiianbirds/Pages/home.aspx).

Full Proposal Due ​​Date
​November 21, 2019 by 11:59pm EDT​
​​Review Period
​December 2019 - February 2020
Awards Announced
​March 2020

How To Apply

All application materials must be submitted online through National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Easygrants system.

  1. Go to easy http://easygrants.nfwf.org ​grants.nfwf.org to register in our Easygrants online system.  New users to the system will be prompted to register before starting the application (if you already are a registered user, use your existing login).  Enter your applicant information. Please disable the pop-up blocker on your internet browser prior to beginning the application process.
  2. Once on your homepage, click the “Apply for Funding” button and select this RFP’s “Funding Opportunity” from the list of options.
  3. Follow the instructions in Easygrants to complete your application.  Once an application has been started, it may be saved and returned to at a later time for completion and submission.

Application Assistance

Additional information to support the application process can be accessed on the NFWF website’s Applicant Information page.

For more information or questions about this RFP, please contact: 

Scott Hall (Scott.Hall@nfwf.org) and Jana Doi (Jana.Doi@nfwf.org)

For issues or assistance with our online Easygrants system, please contact:

Easygrants Helpdesk
Email:  Easygrants@nfwf.org​
Voicemail:  202-595-2497
Hours:  9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET, Monday-Friday.
Include:  your name, proposal ID #, e-mail address, phone number, program you are applying to, and a description of the issue.