HawkWatch International (HWI) is very excited to announce the Global Raptor Research and Conservation Grant, a new funding opportunity that will invest in projects addressing global raptor research and conservation priorities. HWI will invest in projects led by citizens of developing countries, with the aim of increasing diversity and inclusivity, all while building local capacity for conservation. In this strange new world, as we grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems ever more pressing to invest directly in projects and people from local communities to achieve conservation outcomes.
This grant builds off a recent HWI-led research paper that sought to quantify global raptor research and conservation priorities. Some of the key findings were that raptor research to date has been extremely biased towards a small fraction of species, with ten species (1.8% of all raptors) accounting for one‐third of all raptor research, while one‐fifth of raptor species have essentially never been studied in-depth.
Discouragingly, we found that, globally, species that are more threatened with extinction are actually less studied. Owls were the least‐studied group of raptors, and therefore the highest overall priority for future research. Vultures were the most extinction‐prone group of raptors, and thus in need of the most urgent conservation investment. Tropical regions of Central and South America, Sub‐Saharan Africa and, particularly, Southeast Asia were identified as the highest priority for investment because they hosted the highest number of total species, understudied species and extinction‐prone species. Overall, these findings call for a shift in scientific and conservation resources towards less studied and more endangered species, which disproportionately occur in developing countries. This grant aims to play a small role in doing just that.
Please find further details, including how to apply, here. The application deadline for this first call is December 31, 2020. If you have any questions, please write to . We also encourage sharing this announcement widely, especially with contacts from developing countries whom may be interested in applying. This grant is funded by HawkWatch International, with the generous support of our donors, particularly the Circle of Life Fund.
Evan R. Buechley, PhD
International Program Director