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US Plans To Spend $1 Million To Help Jaguars, Birds Move Freely In Central America

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Thomas Phippen Associate Editor
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The U.S. will spend around $1.5 million on wildlife preservation in Mexico and Central America next year as part of the Wildlife Without Borders program.

The two grants will fund wildlife conservation efforts that look at the whole region, not just a single country. The “existing protected areas within Central America alone are too small and isolated” to make a big difference in the ecosystem, the grant for the Central America projects says.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) expects to provide $1 million for projects in Central America. The department will fund projects that will reduce “uncontrolled cattle ranching,” prevent poaching and deforestation, and “mitigate and reduce persecution of jaguars,” according to the request for applications for the Central America project.

Target regions of these grants include Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Nicaragua. “The jaguar is an umbrella species whose conservation supports conservation of other species,” the grant opportunity says. Other eligible projects should promote “alternatives or more sustainable farming and grazing systems” in protected areas.

The Mexico grants, which FWS expects to total around $500,000, will fund jaguar protection projects and efforts to conserve prairie dog, wolf and parrot populations. The Wildlife Without Borders – Mexico project will cost about $500,000 for 2017, FWS says in the grant opportunity.

FWS would like to fund projects that encourage poor subsistence farmers in Mexico to engage in “sustainable management of their lands according to their rights, knowledge, capacities, needs and traditions.”

Both projects will come out of the budget for the 2017 fiscal year, beginning Oct. 1, 2016. FWS spent $687,372 for on Wildlife Without Borders projects in Central America, and $671,963 on similar projects in Mexico in 2015.

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