Wildlife Conservation Society Climate Adaptation Fund

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Climate Adaptation Fund supports one to two-year projects that implement science-driven, on-the-ground actions that assist wildlife and ecosystems to adapt to climate change at a landscape scale. The Fund provides a total of $2.5 million in grant awards between $50,000 and $250,000 to conservation non-profit organizations each year.

Awards are made to non-profit conservation organizations for applied, on-the-ground projects focused on implementing priority conservation actions in order to support wildlife adaptation to climate change at a landscape scale. As described in the current Request for Proposals, projects must propose actions that anticipate and respond to potential or observed climate change impacts to maximize long-term conservation success. The Fund supports projects that manage for outcomes that sustain dynamic ecological processes, landscape functionality, and species assemblages, as opposed to single-species or historical conditions that may not be possible in an altered climate.

For example:

  • Projects that demonstrate applied management responses for wildlife adaptation in terrestrial, freshwater, or estuarine systems, including efforts to enhance the resilience of climate-impacted habitats or facilitate their transition to a different yet functional ecological state.
  • Projects to enhance or sustain the adaptive capacity of ecosystems, landscape functionality, and critical biological processes in the face of climate change.
  • Projects that restore and sustain core habitat or create connectivity for fish and wildlife in order to achieve explicit climate adaptation goals.
  • Pilot projects to exhibit successful on-the-ground actions for climate adaptation that can be replicated across a landscape.

Some of the projects supported by the WCS Climate Adaptation Fund in 2016 include:

Natural Areas Conservancy (WCS Grant Award:$248,193; Project Budget: $496,557): Encouraging robust urban forests through restoration with climate change-adaptive species palettes in New York City.  

Sky Island Alliance (WCS Grant Award:$249,664; Project Budget: $556,390): Supporting Pollinator Adaptation Needs in the Sky Islands, Arizona

Watershed Restoration Coalition (WCS Grant Award:$111,455; Project Budget: $232,175): Protecting the future of urban water sources by improving watershed resiliency to climate change in the Blacktail watershed that supplies water for Butte, Montana.  

The Nature Conservancy, Minnesota (WCS Grant Award:$225,500; Project Budget: $478,500): Conifer Strongholds in a Changing Northwoods Landscape: Wildlife Habitat and Resilience in the Great Lakes forests. 


The mission of the Wildlife Conservation Society is to save wildlife and wild places worldwide - through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.


Publication Date: 2017

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