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International Species Conservation Funds
International species conservation is addressed by several funds, including those under the
Multinational Species Conservation Fund (MSCF) and the Neotropical Migratory Bird
Conservation Fund (NMBCF). This report provides a brief overview of MSCF and NMBCF
and their funding and legislative status.
Multinational Species Conservation Fund
The Multinational Species Conservation Fund, which currently benefits tigers, the six species of
rhinoceroses, Asian and African elephants, marine turtles, and great apes (gorillas, chimpanzees,
bonobos, orangutans, and the various species of gibbons), has generated a tremendous amount of
constituent interest. The fund supports conservation efforts benefitting these species, often in
conjunction with efforts under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
(CITES) to which the United States is a party.'
MSCF provides funding in the form of technical and cost-sharing grants to range countries for the
conservation of African and Asian elephants, rhinoceroses, tigers, great apes, and marine turtles
and their habitats. The grants target species and address habitat conservation, law enforcement,
and technical assistance for conserving species under the MSCF. Efforts to conserve species
under the MSCF benefit from funding and in-kind support provided by partners and collaborators.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which runs the program,2 $75.0 million was
provided by partners and collaborators for efforts under the MSCF from FY2004 to FY2009. This
is nearly double the amount appropriated for these efforts during the same period.
For FY2011, the Administration has requested $10.0 million, which is $1.5 million less than the
FY2010 enacted level of $11.5 million.3
Table 1 shows funding levels for the MSCF and the NMBCF for FY2005-FY2010 and the
FY2011 request. The MSCF is authorized under five acts, described below. In the 110th Congress,
the African Elephant Conservation Act, Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund, and Asian
Elephant Fund were reauthorized for funding until 2012. The 111th Congress might consider
reauthorizing the Great Ape Conservation Fund, which is authorized through 2010, and the
Marine Turtle Conservation Fund, which is authorized through 2009.
The African Elephant Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 4201) authorizes matching grants for
conservation, research, management, and protection of this species. Projects are carried out in
cooperation with African nations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund (16 U.S.C. 5301) assists in conserving tigers and
the 6 species of rhinos. Matching grants support governments and NGOs in projects to conserve
habitat, survey populations, improve law enforcement, and educate the public.
1 For more information, see CRS Report RL31654, The Endangered Species Act: A Primer, by M. Lynne Corn,
Kristina Alexander, and Eugene H. Buck, and CRS Report RL32751, The Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Background and Issues, by Pervaze A. Sheikh and M. Lynne
2 CRS Report R40776, Fish and Wildlife Service: Appropriations and Policy , by M. Lynne Corn.
3 P.L. 111-88.
Congressional Research Servicee
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International Species Conservation Funds, report, March 5, 2010; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc817052/m1/4/?rotate=90: accessed March 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.