Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Conservation Fund Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

There is no active call for proposals. Please check back for future NOFO announcements.

Note: the information below was taken from the 2021 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Conservation Fund.

The Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Conservation Fund is a financial assistance program that supports projects that deliver measurable conservation results for marine turtles around the world. Pursuing an evidence-based approach, we publish strategic geographical and thematic priorities and application guidelines in a Notice of Funding Opportunity. All proposals go through a rigorous and competitive evaluation process. Once project support is confirmed, we engage in a partnership with the grantee, providing technical support as needed, communicating on a regular basis, and playing an active role in monitoring and evaluating the project's success. This helps ensure that our limited funding is effective and enables us to improve the impact of the Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Conservation Fund through adaptive management.


We support programs that reduce threats to tortoises and freshwater turtles in their natural habitat. Proposals should identify specific conservation actions that have a high likelihood of creating lasting benefits. Project activities that emphasize data collection and status assessment should describe a direct link and benefit to management action. Proposals that do not identify how actions will reduce threats or that do not demonstrate a strong link between data collection and management action will be disqualified.

Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Conservation Fund Goals

We will further prioritize projects that measurably advance one of the program’s key goals
(listed below) and quantify progress towards these goals. Proposals should demonstrate how project activities directly address one of the following goals and include a plan for monitoring and evaluation (i.e., measuring indicators):

Goal: Reduce threats to survival

Possible approaches:

  • Reducing illegal trade and local overharvesting through community-based programs or monitoring, training to increase capacity among law enforcement officials, and other approaches.

  • Lowering mortality risk due to accidental bycatch through measures that address fisheries threats to priority populations.

  • Reducing habitat loss, encroachment, or degradation due to agriculture and other threats by working with communities to establish buffer zones, decrease land use change that harms turtles, and other approaches.

  • For species with little to no viable habitat left in the wild: establishing protected areas or managing existing protected areas to enhance turtle habitat (excluding the cost of purchasing land).

  • Addressing disease or invasive species invasive species
    An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

    Learn more about invasive species
    threats to the species or population.

Goal: Enhance reproductive success through recruitment of juveniles or augmentation of wild populations

Possible approaches: 

  • Improving or expanding nesting habitat through community-based nest protection.
  • Lower risk of predation through nest re-location and other methods.
  • For species at most immediate risk of extinction: Supporting head-start programs that re-introduce juveniles into viable wild habitats.
  • For species lacking population estimates: Conducting population surveys in key areas to determine population status and to inform conservation planning.
  • Establishing and maintaining assurance colonies where threats are currently too high to maintain. secure wild populations or to provide recruitment for re-establishing or augmenting wild populations.

Goal: Build country capacity for establishing or implementing national or international policies that protect turtles 

Possible approaches:

  • Building capacity for countries to implement policies relevant to turtles under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) or to propose stronger turtle protections under the treaty, through training of government officials, opportunities for international collaboration and coordination, and other activities.
  • Supporting work that establishes or strengthens national laws that protect turtles or raises capacity for national governments to manage turtle populations.

Goal: Change attitudes and behavior regarding the use and protection of turtles – with projects rooted in theories of social change

Possible approaches: 

  • Create behavior change through community education programs, demand reduction campaigns informed by robust social science theory, and other methods.


Applicants can be individuals; multi-national secretariats; foreign national and local government agencies; non-profit non-governmental organizations; for-profit organizations; public and private institutions of higher education, Native American tribal organizations, U.S. territorial governments.


States and Territories must submit applications through  Detailed guidance on how to prepare applications is provided in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) available online at and  The NOFO should be read carefully to ensure that applications meet all eligibility requirements and are complete upon submission.