Stephen L McDonough Family Wildlife Conservation Fund

2020  C2S2 Conservation Center Awardees

African Lion Safari, C2S2 Conservation Center – $8,891 The award was granted to African Lion Safari to advance their groundbreaking work in Loggerhead Shrike conservation. As the only known conservation breeding program in North America for a migratory passerine, the African Lion Safari is seeking to double the release capacity of Loggerhead Shrike into the wild at the Napanee release site in Ontario. Additionally, they aim to provide professional development opportunities for animal care professionals to participate in releases.

2020 C2S2 International Conservation Partner Awardees

Friends of Wildlife, Global Partner of Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) – $12,500 Friends of Wildlife has partnered with SCBI since 2008 and was awarded funds to raise awareness and policy support for banteng conservation in Myanmar. Friends of Wildlife will work with local communities and partners to promote grassroots conservation efforts and provide accurate, up-to-date information of a species that is decreasing at an alarming rate. 

World Parrot Trust, Global Partner of African Lion Safari – $12,500 This award was granted to World Parrot Trust to support conservation efforts to release healthy populations of blue-throated macaws back into their natural habitat in Bolivia. Working with a local partner, the Foundation for the Conservation of Bolivian Parrots, the World Parrot Trust also aims to build aviaries and develop educational and outreach programs to engage the local community in this conservation effort. 

Request for Proposals:

Stephen L McDonough Family Wildlife Conservation Fund


The Stephen L McDonough Family Wildlife Conservation Fund (‘McDonough Fund’) is now seekingshort proposals for the first round of grant funding for the construction of new or expanded activities and infrastructure development. The purpose of the McDonough Fund is to enhance the wildlife conservation efforts of the Conservations Centers for Species Survival (‘C2S2’) full member institutions and their global partners.

Two grant opportunities are available annually through the McDonough Fund:

1. C2S2 Conservation Center Grants: $20,000 awarded annually to fund conservation program(s) at C2S2 full member Conservation Center(s), and

2. C2S2 Conservation Center International Partner Grants: $25,000 awarded annually to fund international wildlife conservation program(s) partnering with a C2S2 Conservation Center.

Grant requests are due to C2S2 on July 15, 2020, by 11:59 PM Pacific with decisions in mid-August.  Please submit one document in pdf format to with the subject line ‘2020 McDonough Fund Application.’

Application Requirements Eligibility

C2S2 Conservation Center Grant - All C2S2 full member organizations are eligible for the annual $20,000 award. Collaborative projects focused on C2S2 priority species or programs are encouraged.

C2S2 Conservation Center International Partner Grant - All international wildlife conservation programs or institutions that have active collaborations, not just financial, with one or more C2S2

Conservation Centers are eligible for the annual $25,000 award. There will be no limit to how many applications can be submitted per institution.

Selection Process

The C2S2 Board of Directors will review and determine funding allocations. The number of grants supported and award amounts will depend on the scope of the projects and the number of proposals received. The board may also choose to roll over some or all funds to the following year. Priority will be given to C2S2 target species (see Appendix A and B), and to projects that enhance public information/education or access for the endangered species.


Grantees will provide a 6-month and year-end progress report using an online reporting platform provided by C2S2. Reports also may include contractor documentation, videos, and photos as appropriate. C2S2 reserves the right to conduct site visits to monitor research progress.


All funding requests from the McDonough Fund are limited to 12 months and all projects must be completed within 12 months of the receipt of funding. The McDonough Fund will consider a no-cost extension of a maximum of 6 months upon request. However, multi-year projects are encouraged to re-apply in subsequent years. McDonough Grant funds can only be used for proposal expenses incurred on or after the award date.

Funding Requirements

Matching funds are not required but are encouraged. Funds are to be used within 1 year from the start date. Any changes to funded projects must be pre-approved by C2S2. The McDonough Fund does not provide support for salaries, stipends, travel expenses, or research. Research may only receive funding if it is not the main component of the project, is needed to expand conservation infrastructure, and has
a public education and access component. These grants are intended for new or expanded activities and infrastructure only. All projects involving live animal research must provide an approved Institutional Animal Care and Use protocol before funding is released. Where biomaterials from endangered species are involved, documentation verifying legal import should be provided before
funding is released.


Grantees agree to provide appropriate standard forms of public recognition on grant and project-related materials and signage proportionate to the level of funds received. Such recognition may include but is not limited to a feature in the grantee’s newsletters, press releases, publications, media coverage, and on social media, and inclusion on the website’s and/or annual report donor list.

Please include C2S2’s logo and a link to C2S2’s website where applicable.  Grantees agree C2S2 may include information regarding this grant, including the amount and purpose of the grant, any photographs or other material provided by you, your logo or trademark, or other information or materials about your organization and its activities in C2S2’s press releases, annual report, newsletters, on social media, etc.

Awardees may be asked to present at the C2S2 Annual Meeting.

Other Requirements

Stephen McDonough requests the opportunity to visit with organizations receiving funds

Conservation Centers for Species Survival (C2S2)

C2S2 was founded in 2005 when five endangered species breeding and management centers in the U.S. joined together to develop new, science-driven solutions to species survival. The collaboration represents decades of experience in wildlife management, recovery efforts, and reintroduction programs. In its first decade, C2S2 was based at Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in
Virginia. In 2015, C2S2 became an independent, 501(c)(3) organization and hired its first CEO to apply business strategies to advance its mission. C2S2 creates opportunities for conservation centers, zoos, and private landowners to apply collective resources and collaborate for the survival of threatened and endangered species at a larger scale.


Angelina Casillas
C2S2 Programs Coordinator
701 Brazos St. 16th Floor
Austin, TX 78701
Phone 857.600.2810

Application Instructions
Please provide a cover letter with the following information:
Title of Project:
Name of Principal Investigator or Project Lead
Organization / Institution
C2S2 Member International Partner Institution (if applicable)
Collaborating Organizations
Total project budget
Request for Support in USD
Match % (if applicable)
Project Start Date:End Date:

For the following questions, please answer in under 250 words unless otherwise noted.

1. Project Summary. What is (are) the overarching objective(s) or focus of this project? Please provide a nontechnical summary that includes a summary of the goals and a description of the potential benefits of the project.

2. Conservation Impact. What are the proposed conservation methods and why are they sound? Describe the general approach of the proposed project. Include the context within which the project takes place, why the project is timely, and how it addresses a current critical need.

3. Project Methodology. Explain the design for this project, why it is appropriate, and how it will be evaluated. Clearly state the hypotheses to be tested, how data will be collected and analyzed, why the methods are appropriate, and how the project will be evaluated. (If this is a conservation education or professional training project, describe educational methods to be employed, the target audience, how many people will be reached, and why these methods are appropriate, etc.). Project objectives and specific goals related to achieving those objectives should also be stated. Both goals and objectives should be measurable, time-limited, and specific. (Limit 500 words)

4. Collaborating Institutions or Organizations: A collaborating institution is defined as an institution actively involved in the design or completion of the project. Funding institutions not actively involved in project design or completion should be listed in the “Grant/Matching Support” section of the Project Budget and need not be listed as collaborators. List all collaborating institutions, including the C2S2
Conservation Center, and attach one Statement of Institutional Support letter for each collaborating institution.

5. Timeline. Provide a timeline in which includes each component of the project that will be completed within the 1-year project duration. The use of bulleted/numbered lists is encouraged.

6. Information sharing. Explain and identify the means and timeline of how the key results and lessons of the project will be disseminated and shared. Key internal and external audiences should be identified and a communication strategy should be included.

7. Key personnel and collaborators. Describe the project team by identifying the personnel included for this project, their roles, qualifications, and the key skills they bring. Be sure to include each PI listed on the Cover Sheet and any collaborators (persons actively involved in the design or completion of the project). Each collaborator’s institution should be listed under Collaborating Institutions or
Organizations on the Application Cover Sheet.

8. Permits. Have all the necessary permits been obtained for the project? If yes, list the permits here and attach one electronic copy to your McDonough Fund application email. If the necessary permits have not yet been obtained, please explain why and when those permits are anticipated.

9. Animal Care and Use Approval. Does this project involve research on live animals? Yes/No. Has this project been approved by your institutional animal care and use committee? If yes, include a copy of the approval. If no, list as pending. Note: No funds will be released unless documentation of approval is provided to C2S2.

10. Project Budget. A budget sheet template is provided below. Information should be separated into expenses being requested of the McDonough Fund versus costs that will be incurred by other (non-McDonough Fund) resources. List under each category the budget items and method of calculation for each (e.g., 2 persons x 10 days x $25/day) as well as probable sources of other support.

11. Budget justification. Please explain why the budget is reasonable and necessary and how the budget supports the project goals and objectives. If this is a multi-year project, identify the funding strategy for
subsequent years.

12. Curriculum Vitae (CV). Please include a CV(limit 2 pages) for each PI.

Photographing American Kestrels

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 14, 2020

Journey towards Conservation


Denise and I came to conservation relatively late in our lives but we have long been animal lovers.  Denise grew up in North Dakota and had cats in her family.  I grew up in Minnesota and had dogs in my family.  Fortunately for me, Denise is allergic to cats so we had dogs in our family together and currently live with our 3rd, 4th and 5th golden retrievers; Nala, Kiara and Indy with Lacy and Belle preceding them.  Denise  also has had a couple of small dogs, Fluffy and Chloe. 


In 2007, Denise and I traveled to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro and go on a safari of 4 national parks.  The focus was mountain climbing and eco-tourism with photography as a secondary activity.  Photographs were desired of the “Big Five” the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo, originally described by big game hunters as the most difficult animals to hunt on foot but now among the most desirable animals to photograph in Africa.  We were able to get decent photographs (by my 2007 standards) of all but a rhinoceros.  The only rhino we saw in the 1 ½ week long safari was a speck in the vast Ngorongoro National Park.


Upon returning to North Dakota, I resolved in my obsessive-compulsive manner to return to Africa to get photographs of a rhinoceros (which I have not done as of 2020).  Through a search of internet, I became acquainted with the International Rhino Foundation and I called Dr. Susie Ellis.  The International Rhino Foundation had a donor level which allowed a conservation trip and I thought what a good idea, make a donation for an endangered species and then go see the endangered species.  So the trip to Tanzania, which had nothing to do with conservation, started a journey towards conservation.

One of the International Rhino Foundation fundraising activities was bidding on a weekend trip to White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, Florida.  The IRF did this for two years and I won the bids on both occasions and was able to take our family to White Oak.  While at White Oak, Denise and I were able to meet John Lukas, Steve Shurter, Dr. Susie Ellis and Dr. David Wildt, learn about the Conservation Centers for Species Survival, see and feed four species of rhinoceros (Sumatran, Greater One-horned, Black and White) and giraffes.  Denise and I bottle fed George, a very young white rhinoceros, and an Okapi.  Later, in 2012, Denise and I accompanied Dr. Susie Ellis and Dr. David Wildt on a donor tour of Indonesia and we saw Andatu as a 3 week old infant Sumatran rhinoceros and took a sailboat trip to Anak Krakatau.

Our interest in supporting endangered species conservation was increasing and I approached the Conservation Centers for Species Survival about becoming the first non-organizational donor to C2S2 and they agreed.  In June 2012, Denise and I became the first Sponsor Members of C2S2.  I have attended each C2S2 meetings from 2013 to 2019 with the 2020 meeting being cancelled due to COVID-19 (2013 May 14-16 Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute- Front Royal, Virginia; 2014 May 13-15 White Oak Conservation- Yulee, Florida; 2015 May 19-21 Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium- Omaha, Nebraska; 2016 May 3-6- San Diego Zoo Global- Safari Park- San Diego, California; 2017 April 11-14- Fossil Rim Wildlife Center at Somervell County Expo Center- Glen Rose, Texas; 2018 April 17-19 Austin Savanna- Austin, Texas and 2019 April 9-11- African Lion Safari- Hamilton, Ontario).  In addition, I visited each of the founding C2S2 organizations: Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute/National Zoological Park, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, White Oak Conservation Center, The Wilds and San Diego Zoo Global. 

In 2013, I was invited by the International Rhino Foundation to attend the Sumatran Rhino Crisis Summit in Singapore and in 2017, I was invited by Dr. David Wildt to accompany veterinarians from the National Zoo and San Diego Zoo Global to China on a Giant Panda Conservation tour. 

In April 2015, I retired from 35 years as working as a pediatrician in North Dakota to a life of walking dogs and starting a nature photography business designed to connect children with nature.  I established a website,, which in 2020 averages 100 visits a day from people all over the world.  I have been able to write 6 children’s books; Foxy Babies, Baby Panda Adventure, Foxy Town USA, Seven Reasons to Love Mountain Bluebirds, Time to Go Potty, There are More than Tigers in India in addition to 2 books on Nature photography.  For the past 4 years, I have given presentations to elementary students on animals, habitat and conservation.

In January 2017, I returned to the practice of pediatrics to help Dr. Denise McDonough in her new primary care clinic, Independent Doctors, and have resumed caring for children with complex health issues.  In 2019, I approached the Conservation Centers for Species Survival about establishing a donor directed fund, the Stephen L McDonough Family Conservation Fund with a commitment of $250,000 to be donated over 5 years, with $25,000 for administration, $100,000 for C2S2 organizations to enhance their conservation efforts and $125,000 for international conservations organizations with a relationship to a C2S2 organization to enhance their efforts.  In December 2019, $50,000 was donated to be available beginning in 2020.

So, what began in 2007 as a trip to Tanzania became a journey towards conservation and along the way Denise and I have met many wonderful conservationists from all over the world.  We deeply appreciate the dedication of the C2S2 member and affiliated organizations and look forward to advising C2S2 on how their wonderful conservation efforts can be enhanced.

Denise McDonough, Dr. Pat Condy, Stephen McDonough

Baby White Rhino

Fossil Rim, Texas

February 4, 2012

Stephen McDonough and Baby Kiwi

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

April 26, 2012

Bottle Feeding Okapi Calf

White Oak Conservation Center

April 9, 2011

Bottle Feeding White Rhinoceros Calf

White Oak Conservation Center

February 5, 2011

Ultrasound Sumatran Rhino "Rosa"

Dr. Dedi Candra, Dr. David Wildt, Stephen McDonough MD

Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary

Way Kambas National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia

July 27, 2012

Presentation of Certificate of Appreciation by Widodo Ramono

Ujung Kulon National Park

Java, Indonesia

July 31, 2012

Rhino Protection Unit

Way Kambas National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia

April 6, 2013

Baby Southern Elephant Seal

Gold Harbor, South Georgia

November 23, 2014

Photographing Brown Bears in the Rain

Stephen McDonough MD and Denise McDonough MD

Katmai National Park, Alaska

July 26, 2015

Northern Saw-wet Owl

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

October 20, 2017

Art of Books

Bismarck Veterans Memorial Library

April 27, 2018

Great Horned Owl Blind

Oliver County, North Dakota

May 10, 2020

Great Horned Owl Blind

Oliver County, North Dakota

May 10, 2020