The National Geographic Big Cats Initiative (BCI) seeks to advance conservation efforts benefitting big cat populations, protecting and restoring them, and their habitats via field-based, action-oriented, direct, and quantifiable strategic programs. The goal of this fund is to identify projects that will help reduce the decline of African big cats in the wild.
Wildlife includes species-focused projects and the local evolutionary and ecological processes that sustain them. Although extinction is a natural part of evolution, the current accelerated loss of species means that we need novel approaches and solutions that support biological diversity and abundance. This area of focus supports projects that seek to discover and identify species and ecosystems and to mitigate threats to Earth’s life forms. Projects will improve understanding of biological diversity, including behavior, life history, evolution, ecology, and habitat requirements.
BCI conducted an evidence-based analysis to assess big cat conservation in Africa, identify funding gaps, and determine a focused engagement strategy for lion conservation funding (Jacobson and Riggio, 2018). As a result of this analysis, National Geographic’s lion population priorities have more than 50 individuals currently, either have high recovery potential or are current strongholds, are not primarily based around a trophy hunting reserve, and are primarily threatened by human-wildlife conflict or livestock encroachment. Given these requirements, 17 lion populations qualify as National Geographic lion population priorities for conservation attention. Three additional lion populations from West and Central Africa were also included, since lions in these geographic regions are genetically distinct from those in East and Southern Africa. In total, BCI has identified 20 populations (and 32 lion areas), spread across 18 countries, as National Geographic lion priority areas. These priority populations encompass nearly 1.25 million square kilometers and are estimated to contain ~19,000 lions, or 83 percent of Africa’s known lion population (National Geographic Big Cats Initiative lion priority areas highlighted in map below.). Although priority will be given to projects focused on lions, projects on leopard and cheetah populations within these 20 areas will also be considered. For cheetahs, seek to fulfill the recommendations from formal regional strategies and national action plans.
Successful applicants may request up to $100,000.
Note: They do not provide funding for weapons or ammunition.
- You may submit a proposal as the project leader for only one project at a time. You must submit a final report and media from any previous grants for which you were the leader before applying to lead a new project.
- Organizations can apply for grants, but the person within the organization who will lead the project—not the institution—should be the applicant and will be expected to meet the requirements of the grant.
- Students should not submit in their advisor’s name. The individual responsible for carrying out the project should apply and write the application.
- All applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time they submit an application.
- If you have more than five years of full-time, professional experience in the field of your project focus, you do not qualify for an Early Career Grant.
- You must submit a budget with your proposal.
- Early Career Grant applicants need to include the name and contact information of one advisor, mentor, or supervisor.
- The text fields in the online form do not allow formatting, so do not use bullets, bold, italics, or special characters.
- All application materials must be in English.
- At this time, National Geographic can not fund work in North Korea, Iran, Syria,
Apply through the given link.
Application Deadline: October 21, 2020 (111 Days Remaining)Apply nowOfficial link