Montana Audubon works at the local, state and national policy levels to protect our natural heritage.
Each year Montana Audubon awards grants from the Audubon Wildlife Fund of Montana, a permanent endowment. Audubon Wildlife Fund grants support education and research projects that benefit wildlife in Montana. Preference is given to projects benefiting nongame wildlife and their habitats. If you are considering applying for an Audubon Wildlife Fund grant, the 2018 application process closed in December 2017. If you are interested in a 2019 grant, the application, along with the Grant Guidelines, will be posted in October 2018.
For more information about the Wildlife Grant Program, please contact Janet Ellis: [email protected].
Below is a description of the grants issued in 2018:
The University of Montana Bird Ecology Lab (UMBEL) will continue to use schoolyard bird feeders to engage third grade students at Lewis and Clark Elementary in Missoula in a wintering bird population study. Building on a pilot year in 2017, this year we will expand the program to an additional classroom, reaching a total of nearly 100 third graders.
We will also adjust our classroom curriculum to include the creation of a personal field guide of local birds for each student. This tangible, take-home product was inspired by the success of small coloring projects the students completed during our first classroom visit in 2017. The field guide project will teach students about bird topography, sexual dichotomy, bill evolution/function, and general identification. We will continue to place bird feeders in the school’s Outdoor Discovery Core Habitat Area, which is a certified National Wildlife Federation “Schoolyard Habitat.”
Students will maintain the feeders daily and conduct regular observations of birds visiting feeders through Project Feederwatch, a national winter-long survey of birds. Once birds acclimate to the feeders, UMBEL biologists will capture and band birds using a mist-net or walk-in trap following standard methods. Banding will provide exciting, up-close observation of birds in the hand and introduce students to field methods in bird research. In addition to project implementation, UMBEL will provide teachers with scientific expertise and curriculum covering basic bird ecology. Students will learn to identify resident bird species and develop skills in observation, collecting data, and communicating results.
The Golden Eagle Migration Survey has three specific goals:
During the previous three fall migration seasons, Montana Audubon and Last Chance Audubon Society have collaborated with the US Forest Service (Lewis & Clark-Helena National Forest) and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to conduct migrating raptor surveys in the Big Belt Mountains. This site has proven to support the largest concentration of migrating Golden Eagles in the lower 48 States (more than 2,500 eagles seen each season). An Audubon Wildlife Fund grant award would assist with travel for observers, on-site accommodations and data submission/integrity. Through this ongoing annual project Montana Audubon and Last Chance Audubon hope to provide reliable research data for science, public education through participation, and monitoring of raptor populations in support of ecosystem health.