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Congress: Save Birds From Being Killed by Passing the Migratory Bird Protection Act!

Congress: Save Birds From Being Killed by Passing the Migratory Bird Protection Act!

This alert is no longer active, but here for reference. Read update here.

Commercial activities and the increasingly prevalent climate crisis continue to threaten the survival of migratory birds in North America. An estimated 3 billion birds have been lost since 1970, and an additional two-thirds of species are in jeopardy. Please urge your U.S. representatives to protect birds by passing the Migratory Bird Protection Act!

The Migratory Bird Protection Act will further solidify the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (MBTA), which bans the “take” of protected birds, which includes killing, capturing, selling, trading, or transporting them without authorization from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is illegal to “take, possess, import, export, transport, sell, purchase, barter or offer for sale, purchase or barter, any migratory bird (or part of one), or a migratory bird nest or egg, without a valid permit.”

In 2017, under the Trump administration, the Department of the Interior (DOI) issued a rule that exempted all incidental takes, where birds are killed during a legal activity, from enforcement under the MBTA, despite the objections of hundreds of organizations, former democratic and republican DOI officials, and multiple states.

The change meant that industries would no longer be held accountable for killing birds, regardless of how avoidable killing them was, or how devastating the losses were. While the current administration has begun the process of reversing this change, bird advocates want to ensure the MBTA will never be weakened again.

The Migratory Bird Protection Act aims to restore protections for migratory birds under the MBTA by creating an incidental take permitting system that would require companies to implement best management practices to prevent bird deaths and keep track of their compliance. It would also establish a mitigation fee to compensate for any impact or losses.

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