Inside Bird Conservation – August 2016

Letter Asks President for Progress on Conserving Migratory Birds

Leaders from national environmental and wildlife conservation organizations have sent a letter to President Obama asking for the administration to take steps in its remaining months to help better conserve migratory birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).  The letter asks the administration to define incidental take under the MBTA and establish a framework to minimize incidental take of migratory birds from avoidable sources of mortality.

The MBTA has become a target for congressional riders and industry lawsuits.  Please weigh in with your lawmakers in support of protecting migratory birds and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by clickinghere.

 Spotted Owl Conservation Urgently Needs a Boost

 Populations of the Northern and California Spotted Owl are in decline, and the status of the threatened Mexican Spotted Owl is currently unknown.  The Northern subspecies is suffering from a steep population decline and range contraction as a result of habitat loss and territorial competition with the Barred Owl, and it is being considered for an ESA status change from Threatened to Endangered. The California Spotted Owl is now undergoing a status review for possible ESA listing, and forest management activities appear to be a significant factor in this decline.

ABC has identified some of the conservation needs of Spotted Owls and provided a set of recommendations to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  These include a moratorium on take for the Northern Spotted Owl, ESA listing for the California Spotted Owl, and additional research on the status of the Mexican Spotted Owl.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Land Management is nearing completion of a forest management plan for Western Oregon that eliminates many of the protections for Spotted Owls and Marbled Murrelet included in President Clinton’s Northwest Forest Plan. This plan marks a big step backwards for endangered species protection, clean water, and carbon storage. Please contact your members of Congress and the Obama administration and urge them to support the Northwest Forest Plan and to increase protections for old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest. You can take action by clickinghere.

Reader Survey: Bird Conservation Priorities for the Next Administration

The outcome of this year’s presidential election will play a pivotal role for the future of bird conservation for generations. Birds know no borders or party affiliation, so American Bird Conservancy will continue its work to ‘Bring Back the Birds’ with whomever gains the White House.

But before we do, we want to hear from you. What bird conservation issues do you think are important? Tell us, and we will reach out to both campaigns to share your priorities and make them part of the national political conversation.

Please use this link to take the Presidential Priorities survey:

Threatened Birds Recovering Thanks To Endangered Species Act Protection

Seventy-eight percent of the birds listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) have populations that are now stable, increasing, or have recovered enough to be delisted, according to a report published in July by ABC. The Endangered Species Act: A Record of Success analyzed population trends and recovery success for all U.S. listed birds, including those in the Hawaiian Islands and U.S. territories.  Presentations about the report are available at

Bird Conservation Magazine – Summer Edition

See a special edition of Bird Conservation all about hummingbirds.

Hummingbirds 101: An Expert Explains the Dynamos of the Bird World

“Hummingbirds do just have a way of obsessing you,” says Sheri L. Williamson. “They’re so fascinating, they’re so diverse, and there’s still so much we don’t know about them.”…Read more >>

Save America’s Pollinators

Please write your Member of Congress today and ask her or him to cosponsor H.R. 1284, the Saving America’s Pollinators Act of 2015. This bill directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend registration of a toxic group of pesticides called neonicotinoids, or “neonics,” which are causing serious damage to birds, bees, and aquatic life.

Take action by clicking here.

White-winged Cotinga’s Presence Indicates Brazil’s Atlantic Forest Can Recover

The cotinga and other birds have been using areas of Atlantic Forest that were once highly disturbed—more evidence that protecting sensitive habitat and allowing it to regenerate is an effective way to bring back threatened species.… Read more >>

Agencies to Help Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) are taking additional steps under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to restore balance to the Florida Everglades ecosystem and help reverse decades-long population declines of the endangered Cape Sable seaside sparrow. (From The Birding Wire.)

Getting kids outdoors in 50 cities across the U.S.

Youth are more disconnected from nature than ever before. To help change that, Interior is leading First Lady Michelle Obama’s nationwide initiative called Let’s Move! Outside. We’re inspiring millions of young people in urban areas to play, learn, serve and work in the great outdoors.

Learn about the cool things kids are doing in their cities

Clinton Campaign Announces Support for Forest Conservation and Restoration

If elected, Hillary Clinton is promising to protect and restore America’s forests. A campaign statement about public lands says that restoring and protecting the health of America’s forests requires managing them for the full scope of benefits they provide. The administration will work with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to set clear management goals that not only recognize the value of forests and public lands for sustainable timber, but for the carbon they absorb, the wildlife habitat they furnish, and the recreation opportunities and clean drinking water they supply, and also build on the success of the Roadless Rule by working to protect and restore old growth and large landscapes that are essential to the health of fish and wildlife. Recognizing that climate change is increasing the dangers and costs of large wildfires in many areas, the administration will also work to reform the wildfire budget to ensure that firefighters, states, and communities have the resources they need to fight fires every year, and to end the damaging practice of transferring resources away from initiatives that help reduce fire risk and restore the health of forests.

Feral Cat News

Miami Herald: Douglas Hanks reported on the efforts of Zoo Miami to protect its animals from stray cats and cat-spread diseases, especially toxoplasmosis. According to Ron Magill, Zoo Miami Communications Director, four monkeys and a red kangaroo have died from toxoplasmosis in recent years.

The Garden Island: Suzanne Case, Chairperson of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resourceswrote a letter requesting that more attention to be paid to the feral cat crisis in her state and calling for solutions that do not maintain feral cats roaming outdoors.

Hawaii News Now: Six endangered Hawaiian Petrels were killed in their burrows by feral cats on Kaua’i.


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