Field Conservation Grants

Field Conservation Grants

Supporting vital conservation projects around the world

Taronga’s Field Conservation Grants give funding and support to conservation projects that help wildlife, habitats and communities all over the world.

Every two years, Taronga Conservation Society Australia awards funding to projects and programs that demonstrate measurable conservation outcomes in the field — anywhere in the world.

Applications for the 2022 round of funding have now closed.

Taronga Field Conservation Grants are open to NGOs, community groups and individuals who have a new or established conservation project that could benefit from funding and expert support. For 2022, Taronga will support the best in-the-field conservation programs with grants of up to $20,000 from a total of $150,000.

Since launching its Field Conservation Grants in 2008, Taronga has given over $1.1 million to 105 projects worldwide, from 72 different organisations. Projects that have benefited from a Taronga Field Conservation Grant have helped to protect and regenerate habitats, stop poaching and trafficking of wildlife and reduce conflict between communities and wildlife living side by side.

Taronga is for the wild. As a not-for-profit, Taronga has an absolute commitment to the conservation and securing a shared future for wildlife and people. Taronga Field Conservation Grants are one more way Taronga is working to achieve that vision.

Find out more about Taronga’s Field Conservation Grants.

Section 1

Principles of Funding

Field Projects will be selected using the criteria listed below, but only after the following principles have been accepted; if any one of these principles cannot be satisfied, then the institution should consider very carefully whether the project should be undertaken at all. 

  1. Only projects that demonstrate measurable conservation outcomes in the field will be supported. Projects with an education component are strongly encouraged but measurable outcomes must relate to the species/habitat impact expected rather than community impact alone;
  2. Projects must consider the implications of climate change effects on the success of their project; 
  3. Project applications will specify a defined period of participation or support from Taronga;
  4. It is understood that in situ conservation projects do not need to have captive breeding/management components, nor that the focal/target species need to necessarily be held in zoos; 
  5. Where in situ conservation projects involve reintroduction or relocation, such processes must be endorsed by relevant government bodies and adhere to all relevant policies and conventions governing the movement and reintroduction of animals and plants, and their component parts established by the IUCN (Reintroduction Guidelines and Position Statement on Translocation of Living Organisms), CITES and IATA; 
  6. Humane treatment must be a priority for all animals impacted as part of this project and captive populations must be held in conditions considered acceptable by the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA);
  7. Taronga recognises the importance of sensitive integration of wildlife conservation goals and human needs in successful in situ conservation programs; 
  8. No project should present an unreasonable level of risk to participant safety, project financial stability or reputation; and
  9. Projects and their personnel must adhere to all laws of the country in which the project is undertaken.
  10. Projects are not located in countries listed under Australian DFAT Sanctions List

Applications for projects ranging between 12 and 24 months will be considered for the period 2022-2024. All applicants should note that applications of less than $10,000 AUD per year have a greater chance of success. If funds requested exceed this amount, a modular budget should be presented with clear priorities for funding by the Taronga Foundation, and their expected outcome. 

All funds should be requested in Australian dollars.

Taronga Field Conservation Grant Proposal Template.

Section 2

Field Conservation Grant Proposal Application Guidelines

1. The questions on the application template are based on the specific criteria that will be used to assess each project. Please answer each question, providing examples and evidence of how the project meets each criterion.

a) Please describe the expected measurable conservation benefits of your Project and how they address a) key threatening process and b) population and habitat viability? Successful applications will state clear outcomes achievable within the stated time frames. All programme goals should specifically address primary threatening processes and be measured in terms of biological processes.

b) Describe the expected conservation scope of the Project. i.e. does it impact at a population, species, habitat, ecosystem or global level? High scoring projects will accurately describe how the project will positively impact multiple species or ecosystems; e.g. through removal of significant threatening process, or amelioration of global issues such as climate change.

c) Describe the project design and how this will logically lead to the stated expected outcomes. Successful applications will demonstrate that the project has a high likelihood of success because:

  • The proposed actions are directly related, and/or have the capacity to bring about the desired outcome, taking into account origin or threat, geographic location & relationship to the threatening processes;
  • The effects of climate change have been considered, and if the target area and species are at the border of changing climate bands, this has been incorporated into the design; 
  • The methods proposed are likely to be successful, as they have considered the social, cultural or political context of the project;
  • Possible pitfalls have been considered and appropriate contingency actions considered; and 
  • The project is linked to previously identified regional or global conservation priorities.

d) What is the expertise and track record of partners in effecting conservation outcomes? Successful applications will provide details of expertise and documented evidence of success in similar projects, taking into account sector expertise and history within the regions.

e) Describe the anticipated scenario if action is delayed or no action is taken. High scoring projects will provide evidence that the project is necessary and clearly urgent – there is an opportunity that is time sensitive, or the situation will worsen significantly if the project is not put into action now.

f) How long will the project continue to deliver benefits and what is the required ongoing input? High scoring projects will demonstrate that benefits will be long lived or that there is a clear strategy for developing the capacity of local stakeholders to continue into the future with little ongoing input.

g) Is the project embedded into the local community and governments, does it incorporate capacity building into the plan, and have buy in from governing bodies? Successful applications will provide evidence that there are working teams on the ground which include a high proportion of local staff, with a clear goal of building capacity, and the project has well-developed working relationships at all levels within the region, from local villages through to government agencies. 

h) Is Taronga funding sufficient for the overall success of the project? Successful applicants will demonstrate that funding for the project, aside from requested involvement by Taronga zoos, is either not necessary or is secured.

Other Benefits (these questions do not increase the conservation benefit score of your project but may influence the final decision between two high scoring projects; we encourage you to contact Taronga or other zoos to determine if your project can contribute to these issues)

i) Are there educational and awareness raising opportunities with species managed in Taronga zoos? It may increase the chance of funding if the target species is held in Taronga zoos allowing our facilities to deliver educational opportunities and to raise awareness through zoo interpretive themes and capital project interpretation through real examples and is a high profile species, likely to provide platform for broader communication opportunities.

j) Does participation/support from Taronga or other ZAA institutions add value to the project, or are there staff development opportunities? It may increase the chance of funding if it matches the skill base of Taronga or ZAA staff or if there are opportunities for staff involvement and skill development.

2. Budget table (use template): include any funds from other sources, and clearly indicate priority items. A timeline and work plan should accompany the budget.

3. Please provide details of how the support of the Taronga Foundation would be acknowledged.

Additional information is not necessary but may be provided:
a) Curriculum vitae of project leaders (maximum of 2 pages each)
b) Letters of reference, recommendation and collaboration
c) Copies of permits (if applicable)

Section 3

Proposal Review and Timeline

Project applications will be reviewed by the Taronga Conservation Committee which is comprised of conservation staff from many divisions.

All applications must be submitted via the online link:

Questions regarding the applications or program can be sent to the Conservation and Recovery Program team via email: