Animal Damage >> Animal Damage Control

To be eligible for the State Wildlife Grants (SWG) Program each state was required to develop a Wildlife Action Plan (WAP) and submit it to the National Advisory Acceptance Team (composed of staff from the states and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) by October 2005. Each Plan was required to include eight elements (see link below) that detail the species and habitats covered, the conservation actions proposed, procedures to review the Plan, and Animal Damage Control coordination with the public and other agencies. In Louisiana, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) was charged with completing the WAP. Development of the WAP was coordinated with other state agencies, federal agencies, conservation groups, universities, industry, and the general public.

The goal of LDWF was to develop a strategy which reflected the knowledge and expertise of stakeholders throughout the state who understood the threats facing the diverse fish and wildlife species of Louisiana.The Louisiana WAP was approved in December 2005 and became the roadmap for the utilization of SWG funds. The Louisiana Wildlife Action Plan was intended to be a living document that would change as conservation priorities shift or as new threats to Louisiana’s wildlife are identified. It should be noted that the WAP is not a regulatory document, a land use Animal Damage Control plan, a land acquisition plan, or a threatened/endangered species plan.The Louisiana WAP identifies 240 species of concern, and details threats to these species, as well as strategies for conserving them.

Additionally, the WAP provides detailed information on 38 terrestrial habitats, 12 aquatic basins, and 5 marine habitats that are critical to the conservation of the species of concern identified in the WAP. Threats to each of these habitats are discussed, and conservation strategies are presentedTo ensure that the WAP remains relevant, it must be fully reviewed and revised every 10 years. The first review and Animal Damage Control revision of the Louisiana WAP must be completed by December 2015, and this effort is currently underway.To learn more about the Louisiana Wildlife Action Plan and to download a PDF of the plan please see the link below. If you would like more information about the Louisiana WAP, or about the revision that is currently underway, please contact SWG Coordinator Sam Holcomb (sholcomb@wlf.la.gov).

The State and Tribal Wildlife Grants (SWG) Program was created by federal legislation in November 2001. The SWG program was established "for the development and implementation of programs for the benefit of wildlife and their habitat, including species that are not hunted or fished”, with the goal of preventing species from being federally listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The inclusion of species that are not hunted or fished is one crucial aspect of the SWG program, as many of these species previously had no existing source of Animal Damage Control funding. In fact, the SWG program has now become the primary federal funding source for non-game conservation nationwide. Another crucial aspect of the SWG program is the focus on proactive conservation measures designed to preclude future ESA listings.

This is important, as conservation is often more effective and Animal Damage Control efficient before species undergo declines sufficient to warrant ESA action.Congress stipulated that each state fish and wildlife agency that wished to participate in the SWG program develop a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy. In response, LDWF developed a comprehensive planning document to establish conservation needs and guide the use of SWG grant funds for the next 10 years. This document, known as the Wildlife Action Plan (WAP), was submitted for approval to the National Advisory Acceptance Team in October 2005 and subsequently approved in December.

The WAP is the roadmap for non-game conservation in Louisiana, and must be reviewed and revised every ten years to insure that it remains an effective tool for conservation planning and implementation. For more Animal Damage Control information see the Louisiana Wildlife Action Plan page.The SWG program is funded by annual Congressional appropriations. The United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) apportions these funds to state fish and wildlife agencies based on the land area and population of each state. Since the inception of the SWG program, the state of Louisiana has received $10,678,752 in federal SWG funding, with an apportionment of $708,882 in fiscal year 2011-2012. State Wildlife Grants can be for either implementation of the WAP, or for planning purposes.

Planning grants must directly support efforts to modify, revise, or update the WAP; implementation grants encompass all other eligible activities, including the collection of biological data to support planning efforts.Louisiana has funded 106 projects through the State Wildlife Grants program to date. Funded SWG projects have included biological inventories, ecological research projects, habitat assessment, habitat management, and the development and maintenance of Animal Damage Control databases. A wide range of species have benefited from SWG funding in Louisiana, including the Louisiana Black Bear, Bald Eagle, Whooping Crane, Swallow-Tailed Kite, Alligator Snapping Turtle, Mississippi Diamondbacked Terrapin, Calcasieu Painted Crawfish, Louisiana Pearlshell Mussel, and Painted Bunting.

For more information on completed and ongoing grants see the Louisiana State Wildlife Grant Projects page.State Wildlife Grant proposals are accepted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) on an annual basis in the spring, and include Animal Damage Control projects developed by LDWF personnel, non-governmental organizations, and universities. State Wildlife Grant proposals are reviewed by LDWF's SWG Committee, consisting of 17 biologists, including representatives from both the Office of Wildlife and Office of Fisheries.For more information about the State Wildlife Grants Program in Louisiana, contact SWG Coordinator Sam Holcomb (sholcomb@wlf.la.gov).

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