Wild Resource Conservation Program (WRCP) Grant Opportunities

 WRCP Grant Priorities with detailed descriptions
 WRCP Grant Application Manual
 WRCP/DCNR Grants Online Application Instructions
 WRCP Program Information

Wild Resource Conservation Program Pre-application Tasks:
  1. Obtain an  SAP Vendor Number.
  2. Review program guidelines.

2018 Grant Priorities
WRCP is soliciting grant applications in the following categories – surveys, research, and conservation & management. Detailed priorities within each of these categories are outlined below.

It is recommended that projects/grant applications address one of the priorities listed below. However, applications may be accepted that address priorities outlined in the Pennsylvania State Wildlife Action Plan and/or address the needs of plant species or plant communities of concern within the Commonwealth. The applicant should contact the WRCP Agency Coordinator to discuss the project, how it may fit into flora or fauna priorities and potential for funding. Please refer to the “Application Submission Information” section below for further information.

Research:
  • Phenology of Plants in PA:
    Researchers would document the phenological shifts of plants across Pennsylvania, using both herbarium records as well as new collections, focusing on state-listed plants or proposed as PA Rare. The researcher should work with a variety of herbaria across the regions of PA to compare the phenology. Also, the researchers should consider impacts of phenological shifts on pollinator presence. The results of this study will help identify which PA Rare species (listed or proposed) should have their status be re-evaluated.
  • Life History of the Chesapeake Logperch:
    Information on this species is needed to develop a reintroduction plan. The study should focus on understanding the ecology of the species including diet, growth, and habitat usage. Regarding reintroduction, what is the feasibility of the species in becoming established above barriers in recolonized water; also within historic range, are suitable waters available for reintroduction?
  • Ramp Investigations to Determine if PA Vulnerable:
    Researchers will conduct investigations to determine if ramps/wild leeks (Allium tricoccum) should be listed as a PA Vulnerable plant species. There are many facets to determining if a plant species should be listed as PA Vulnerable, including both market-driven pressures and biological limitations of the plant. Potential investigations could include baseline field inventory of ramps, genetic investigations of presence of A. tricoccum and A. burdickii, and market investigations to determine the level of wild collection distribution into retail markets.
  • Investigating Population Declines of Aerial Insectivores:
    The populations of many avian aerial insectivores are experiencing broad-scale and rapid declines. Studies are being sought that investigate potential causes for declines. These would include foraging behavior and nestling provisioning, food availability and abundance, contaminant loading, or predation effects in various habitat/landscape types and by appropriate species of birds or bats. A single or multiple species approach would apply.
  • Investigation of the diabase plant communities:
    Information is needed on the plant communities associated with mafic diabase sill and dike formations in Pennsylvania. Mafic diabase formations are known to host a number of rare, threatened and endangered plant species, but have not been looked at systematically to determine if plant communities associated with them are rare and in need of conservation. Researchers will inventory and characterize mafic diabase communities and, if appropriate develop plant community descriptions for inclusion in the Pennsylvania Plant Community Classification in coordination with the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program.
Surveys:
  • Spiny Cheek Crayfish Assessment:
    The Spiny Cheek Crayfish was designated as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in the 2015 PA WAP, mainly due to its extirpation from much of the Susquehanna and Potomac River Basins of Pennsylvania. These losses were likely the result of exotic crayfish invasions. Additional surveys, particularly above barriers, which may prevent crayfish invasions protecting populations of Spiny Cheek Crayfish, are needed to determine if the species is a candidate for listing (threatened, endangered) in Pennsylvania. Proposed site for sampling are throughout the Susquehanna, Potomac, and Delaware drainages of Pennsylvania, including areas last surveyed in the early 2000s, as well as additional areas that have never been sampled for crayfishes. These data will allow the Spiny Cheek Crayfish to be formally evaluated for listing in Pennsylvania.
  • Mudpuppy population assessment associated with the endangered salamander mussel:
    Conduct Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus) mark-recapture studies at known Mudpuppy locations throughout the navigable Allegheny and Ohio Rivers to estimate host density for the state endangered Salamander Mussel (Simpsonaias ambigua). Complete additional presence/absence surveys at known Salamander Mussel locations, as needed. This study will help inform future restoration and recovery efforts for the Salamander mussel.
  • Devil Crayfish Assessment:
    The Devil Crayfish was collected from Pennsylvania for the first time in over 100 years in the fall of 2017. Surveys within its former range resulted in the discovery of a single population in southeastern Pennsylvania. The Devil Crayfish is potentially one of the state's rarest species and may warrant state listing. However, additional surveys are needed to determine with certainty its rarity in the Pennsylvania. This project would provide the data necessary to definitively determine if the Devil Crayfish is threatened or endangered in Pennsylvania.
Conservation & Management:
  • Response of Wildlife to Fire Management:
    Increased use of fire as a management tool on State Game Lands, State Forest Lands and other conservation properties calls for an adaptive management framework to evaluate species’ response. There is a need to better understand effects of fire management on a range of species, including birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. This project should develop the monitoring framework, and implement that framework at three locations, focused on priority species from the new Wildlife Action Plan such as Allegheny Woodrats and Timber Rattlesnake, then set the stage for data collection and evaluation to be ongoing. The outcome will be to advise future applications of fire management to enhance benefits and reduce risks to Species of Greatest Conservation Need.
  • Rare Plant Recovery Plan for Pyrularia pubera, Buffalo-nut:
    The researcher will develop recovery and implementation plans for buffalo-nut, a hemiparasitic plant that has been declining in PA and across its range. Plans should include specific actions needed to be taken to prevent buffalo-nut from becoming more rare or extirpated, focusing on threats, genetic diversity of populations and methods for population augmentation including transplanting. Host types should be observed as well as preferred community types, to promote the likelihood of success for transplanting or new populations. The outcome of the study would be specific management practices to benefit these critically imperiled plants.
  • Little Brown Bat Fall Migration:
    Little is known of female Little Brown Bats hibernation areas, since the vast majority of the bats are no longer found in classic sites. There is evidence they are selecting new, colder sites or potentially migrating long distances, but few sites are known. The best approach to finding these sites will be to follow bats from known maternity colony to winter hibernacula using modern telemetry techniques. The outcome will be protection and potential enhancement of these hibernacula.

Application Submission Information
WRCP’s director or the appropriate agency coordinator (see information below) should be contacted prior to submitting a grant application. They can give valuable advice about the program’s priorities, how to improve your project design and application content, and the probability of success for your application.

WRCP Director
Greg Czarnecki
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
(717) 783-1337
gczarnecki@pa.gov
Native wild plants
Rebecca Bowen
DCNR-Bureau of Forestry
(717) 772-0258
rebbowen@pa.gov
Non-game birds and mammals
Dan Brauning
PA Game Commission
717-787-5529
dbrauning@pa.gov
Non-game fish, amphibians, reptiles and aquatic organisms
Chris Urban
PA Fish & Boat Commission
(814) 359-5113
curban@pa.gov