Conservation Science

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's primary focus is on fish, mammals, birds, pollinators, reptiles and amphibians and their habitats in need of conservation action. By using clear criteria on how and where to invest resources, NFWF maximizes its impact on the species and ecosystems most in need of conservation and achieves a high return on investment.

In making strategic conservation decisions, NFWF works with partners to address key questions:

  • Setting priorities: What are the species and places for which NFWF can have the greatest impact?
  • Establishing outcomes: What are the conservation goals for priority species and places?
  • Designing strategies: What is the roadmap to successfully achieve outcomes?
  • Evaluating progress and success: What adjustments are needed to ensure the roadmap is being followed and outcomes are being achieved?
Gopher tortoise
Gopher tortoise

The key to NFWF’s decision-making is to base decisions on strong, science-based evidence. The Foundation uses a reliable, transparent and transferable process to identify which programs are likely to be successful and have the largest conservation impact. NFWF’s rigorous science and evaluation framework ensures that the Foundation's efforts will have the highest possible value and lasting effect.

NFWF has selected a set of priority landscapes and species aimed at delivering ambitious but measurable species outcomes. Each initiative has a business plan developed by scientists and other experts and approved by the Foundation's Board of Directors. Grants are available to support the actions identified in the business plan. Additional grant programs support diverse projects for wildlife and habitat conservation across the country.