Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act

Each spring, millions of birds travel thousands of miles from Latin America and the Caribbean to their breeding grounds as far north as the Arctic. Months later, winter sets in, these migrants make the long trip back south. Neotropical migratory birds are among the most attractive and interesting birds to America’s 48 million birdwatchers, who bring tens of billions of dollars of economic activity to communities across the country. These birds are also economically important for their role in pest control and pollination for agriculture.

The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Grants Program, which is up for reauthorization, is an innovative, cost-effective approach to bird conservation, supporting projects to benefit bird populations and their habitats, research and monitoring, law enforcement, and outreach and education throughout Canada, the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. As a matching grant program, it serves as a catalyst to leverage funding from a range of sources beyond government.

Quick Facts:

  • The 340 species of neotropical migratory birds—those that breed in North America and spend the winter in the tropics—require international conservation efforts along their entire migratory routes.

  • Neotropical migrants face an increasingly complex range of threats, including development pressures, invasive species, avian diseases, and a changing climate.

  • Grants provided through the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) have funded critical conservation projects that have helped protect neotropical migratory birds of conservation concern across more than three million acres in 40 U.S. states and territories, and more than 30 Latin American and Caribbean countries.

  • Grants are used to protect and manage bird populations and habitats, increase research and monitoring, improve law enforcement, and promote community outreach and education. To date, NMBCA grants have helped protect more than three million acres of vital bird habitat.

  • Success of the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation program has required building public/private partnerships and leveraging non-governmental contributions. Since it was enacted in 2000, the U.S. has invested more than $30.4 million in 296 projects, and leveraged an additional $134 million in partner funds to support these projects. For every $1 invested by the government, $5 is spent on conservation.