Table 1

Click here for Guidelines for Conservation Small-Grants Program

Craig S. Harrison is a former Chair of PSG and former Vice-Chair for Conservation for PSG from 1992 to 2013. He also is an expert on tropical seabirds, one of the founders of the American Bird Conservancy, and a lawyer who specializes in environmental law. Because of his longstanding contributions to seabird conservation, especially those on behalf of PSG, we are honored to be able to name the former Conservation Small-grants Program after him.

Donations to the Craig S. Harrison Conservation Fund can be made at the PSG Membership Page


There has been concern by members of Executive Council (EXCO) of the Pacific Seabird Group and PSG’s Conservation Committee that some worthy seabird-conservation projects could be accomplished at minimal cost in some locations of the Pacific but are not being pursued because there is no vehicle for funding such projects. The need for support for seabird-conservation efforts is most acute in developing nations. To address this concern, the EXCO has established the Craig S. Harrison Conservation Fund (hereafter, Conservation Fund). For a downloadable flyer about the program, click here.


Cristián G. Suazo, Universidad Austral de Chile, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, is carrying out integrated studies on Brack-browed and Grey-headed Albatrosses at the Diego Ramírez Islands (southern Chile). Cristián has focused his work on gaining a better understanding of the contributing factors related to the condition of individual birds. Click here for a one-page summary (including photos) of his work.


The objective of the Conservation Fund is to advance the conservation of seabirds by providing funds or supplies to individuals from developing countries as well as those from elsewhere working in those developing countries primarily in or bordering the Pacific Ocean, (1) for conservation and restoration activities that benefit seabirds in the Pacific Ocean; and (2) to help develop within-country seabird expertise in developing countries within or bordering the Pacific Ocean.

Click here for Guidelines for Conservation Small-Grants Program

(1) Send an email to Verena Gill and Craig Harrison, briefly explaining what you want to propose and where you want to do the work. That way, you can get a rapid determination from them of whether your proposal is eligible for consideration for funding.
(2) If they determine that your study is eligible, then fill out and send the application form, the proposal/budget, and the letter of reference, as described below, to Verena Gill and Craig Harrison. If you have questions about the Application Form, please see the Example Form that has been filled out.

Please note that applications/proposals may be submitted at any time—there is no fixed deadline for submission. All applications/proposals will be evaluated whenever they are submitted.

Eligibility: Criteria for eligibility will largely be geographic, in that the funding preferentially will go to citizens of developing countries within or bordering the Pacific Ocean. Preference will be given to citizens of any country within or bordering the Pacific Ocean except the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, South Korea, and Taiwan, unless no local citizens are able to do the work at the time of application. In addition, the work should be conducted within developing countries within or bordering the Pacific Ocean or should benefit Pacific seabirds. Consideration may be given to applicants from one of the ineligible countries, providing:  (1) the seabird work will occur within one of the eligible countries; (2) the applicant can demonstrate that matching funds exist; and (3) individuals in the host country are involved in the project, so that they can learn techniques to aid in seabird conservation. A grant may be awarded to a citizen of an ineligible country if the specific purpose of the work is to train local residents of an eligible country to undertake seabird-conservation actions. In such cases, the applicant also must demonstrate that, without the addition of the Conservation Fund grant (plus matching funds), the project cannot be completed. Although we prefer that applicants not be government employees in those eligible countries (government employees generally have access to some funds), all applications will be reviewed on their merit, and government employees may be awarded Conservation Fund grants.

For continuing projects or for new applications from previously-funded researchers, eligibility also depends on the timely submission of reports. All recipients of a Conservation Fund grant must submit a report within 2 months of the completion of the project or that phase of the project. Recipients of a Conservation Fund grant are eligible to apply for funds to continue the work, but, to be considered for additional funds, the applicant must submit a short report along with the renewal application. Previous recipients of a Conservation Fund grant who do not provide a report to the Conservation Fund Committee are ineligible for future grants.

Proposal/budgetary requirements:
 Applicants will (1) fill out a concise application form; and (2) prepare a short but detailed proposal. The proposal will:  (A) describe the nature of the conservation issue/problem (i.e., the background and objectives); (B) briefly describe how the objectives will be accomplished; (C) provide a budget of projected expenditures and/or request of materials needed; and (D) provide at least one letter of support from a non-involved party (all of these components should be submitted via email messages). We emphasize that the proposal/budget should be brief and believe that 2 pages (including the budget) will suffice. If funds are provided to the applicant, a signed application and proposal in hard-copy must be received by the Conservation Fund (this can be sent as an attached PDF file). Background information on the Conservation Fund, application forms and instructions will be available through the PSG website. We encourage PSG members to draw this program to the attention of potential worthy recipients.

Disbursement of funds:
 The size of grants usually will be between US $250 and US $2,000. Funds/materials will be provided to award recipients as soon as possible after a decision of acceptance by the Conservation Fund Committee. Grants above US $2,000 will require direct approval by EXCO, delaying a decision. The amount disbursed will be determined by the number of proposals, the quality of each proposal, and the contribution of the proposed work to seabird conservation in the Pacific. Any funds not spent or material donations not used will be returned to PSG for later disbursement to other projects.

Activities that are and are not permitted:
 Examples of activities that may be funded include:  (1) the cost of supplies, transportation, or other field-work expenses for removal of invasive species from a nesting colony; (2) the provision and distribution of materials to train local residents how to reduce the impacts of human activities on seabirds or their colonies/habitats; (3) the provision and distribution of educational materials or equipment for teaching fishermen how to reduce seabird bycatch; and (4) costs for colony surveys of presently-unsurveyed areas to evaluate the status and conservation needs of seabirds.  Examples of activities that will not be funded include:  (1) travel to the PSG or other society meetings; (2) regular monitoring or censusing of colonies; (3) research that includes the purchase of satellite- or radio-telemetry tags; or (4) the study of breeding biology. Essentially, funds must be spent and donated materials must be used to accomplish directly the proposed conservation activities. Unspent funds will be returned to the Conservation Fund for later disbursement to other projects.


A list of the recipients of the Craig S. Harrison Conservation Fund Grants and their projects can be found at When the projects are completed, the reports are posted and can be viewed by clicking on the title of the study.


No later than 2 months following the completion of the funded field work, award recipients must provide to the Conservation Fund Committee a short report (in English) detailing:  (1) their proposed objectives; (2) their proposed activities/actions; (3) their actual activities/actions; (4) their subjective/objective evaluation of the effectiveness of their actions in conserving seabirds, including detailed quantitative information, when possible (e.g., "discovered and censused XX seabird colonies," with numbers of each bird species and locations of seabird colonies provided in the report); (5) a comparison of proposed and actual expenditures of money/use of donated materials; and (6) suggestions for further work or improvements to the completed project design.

All proposal applications and reports should be sent to Verena Gill,
Chair, Craig S. Harrison Conservation Fund Committee, and Craig S. Harrison Conservation, and Craig S. Harrison, Former Vice-Chair for Conservation.

NOTE: These guidelines are available in PDF format. 

(in MS Word format)

Application Form: Conservation Small-Grant Program
Sample Application Form: Conservation Small Grant Program

For more information about other funding sources for projects in developing countries, please see


Latest Revision: 02/26/2016