State Wildlife Grants (SWG) are a new funding source from Congress to the Division of Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries intended to identify and focus management on “species in greatest need of conservation.” SWG refers to wildlife in the broadest sense, to include fish and aquatic invertebrates, such as mussels and snails. As part of these appropriations, Congress has directed how SWG funds are to be spent. SWG funds may not be used to replace funding for existing programs. Congress intends that SWG funds be used to manage and conserve declining species and avoid their potential listing under the Endangered Species Act. Since 2002 SWG has funded a large number of wildlife research and habitat restoration projects. For a complete list of these projects see Projects Funded by SWG.
A major requirement of SWG funding is that each State develop a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS). The Alabama CWCS includes information on the distribution and abundance of low and declining species of wildlife, descriptions of the locations and condition of key habitats and community types, descriptions of problems that might adversely affect these species or habitats, descriptions of conservation actions necessary to conserve these species and their habitats, and proposed monitoring plans.