By Ross Perez 19 Jan, 2010

In an effort to increase transparency, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has offered much of their data to the public through their Grant Library. We have created the following vizes with that data, in concert with the NFWF.

NFWF grants over 25 years

The NFWF distributes hundreds of grants every year, all with the purpose of conserving the many diverse ecosystems of the United States. Use this viz to explore which organizations have been the beneficiaries.

The first visualization shows the relative focus of NFWF grant-making among the 50 states. Approximately 92% of all Foundation funding has gone to U.S. states and territories but there have also been grants to organizations in another 40 countries, notably through the Save the Tiger program and coral reef conservation work.

The second visualization shows how much individual organizations and agencies have received from the NFWF over the years. The coolest part about this graphic is that you can search for particular organizations using the text box titled, ‘Organization’ to the left of the table. For example, type in ‘Sierra Business Council’ and you will see they have received $255,000 in grants. Leave the field blank and hit return to go back to the whole list of grantees.

Spending and success of conservation efforts

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service publishes annual data on how much it and other federal and state agencies spend trying to help save each of the more than 1,300 plant and animal species protected by the Act. The viz below details those expenditures and their effectiveness.

The first graph simply shows spending over time by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, other federal agencies, and state agencies. Over time, there have been variations in which agencies have provided data and the comprehensiveness of that data, so trend data here isn’t a perfect reflection of reality.

The second visualization focuses on Fish and Wildlife Service spending and shows how it breaks down by taxon and the threat category that the agency assigns to each species as part of its Recovery Priority System - apparently it's good to be a bird.

The third visualization is perhaps the most useful because it shows total U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service funding for each species, ranked highest to lowest, but also allows you to interact with the database and search for individual species. Care about spending on Bladderpods? You can search out the totals for all the species in this group of plants that are listed as endangered or threatened. Want to know how much was spent on grizzly bear conservation in 1999? Its $5.1 million.


Nearly half of all state funding in 1992 was for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, though that year was the start of the Fish and Wildlife Service private lands conservation strategy. I wonder why this FWS strategy was funded by state organizations instead of at the federal level?