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MBZ Blog

The MBZ Fund expands its support to include threatened soil species

Over the last 14 years the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund has always been able to provide grants to support the conservation of threatened species that are usually overlooked – the less charismatic species.


This included grants for fungus conservation, and invertebrates of many different types, as well as the small mammals, frogs and reptiles that do not usually receive conservation consideration.  To expand the support to wider demographic of species the MBZ Fund will be experimenting with funding for soil biota and threatened soil species as they play a key role to ensuring a healthy ecosystem.

Soil biota is vital to soil properties and soil components as they breakdown soil particles for soil quality and soil function. This would be limited to multicellular species and would not include bacteria and viruses.

This call for applications is in line with the existing funding structure and review model and would provide around $12,000 for each of the three grants round per annum (for a total of $36,000 per year). The application for this funding was made available on 1st March 2023, and you will be eligible to apply until the end of 2023.  Criteria would essentially remain the same as for other taxonomic groups, with some flexibility in recognition of the different spatial scale and diversity of species to be addressed.

With this admittedly limited funding, we aim to focus conservation attention for threatened soil species, an area sadly neglected in most conservation efforts.  (Veresoglou, S. D. et al. Extinction risk of soil biota. Nat. Commun. 6:8862 doi: 10.1038/ncomms9862 (2015).)

You can complete and submit the application online by clicking here. Before starting an application, please ensure that you have read and understood the application criteria (especially relating to the species conservation status) and have had a look at the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Fund’s website.

Once your application has been submitted you will receive an automated email acknowledging receipt of your application, which will also contain your log in details.

Please note that this will be a competitive process and sadly most applicants will not receive grants.

For any questions regarding the application, or to be added to the Fund’s contact database, please use the “Contact Us” details provided, or send an email to enquiries@mbzf.org or Nheard@mbzf.org