Speak Out for Birds and the Laws that Protect Them
Dear Bird Conservation Community,
There are several months remaining in the 115th Congress with lots of unfinished business affecting birds, including pending harmful provisions in both the Farm Bill and the Interior Appropriations bill.
And our voices are making a difference: harmful Endangered Species Act (ESA) riders affecting the Greater Sage Grouse and Lesser Prairie Chicken were recently dropped from the Defense bill. Please read through to the end for a new staff announcement!
ALERT: Farm Bill at Risk due to Harmful Riders
Birds Threatened by Proposed Rollback of Endangered Species Act Protections
The Endangered Species Act is threatened by harmful new regulations and legislative loopholes. Most recently, the Marbled Murrelet — a threatened Pacific seabird — has become the target of a legislative rider in the House Interior Appropriations Bill to prevent ESA-required habitat protection for the species in Washington State. In addition, the Bi-State Greater Sage-Grouse population, which numbers only 2,500 birds, would be stripped of the possibility of ESA listing.
TAKE ACTION: Please click here to help protect the Endangered Species Act by asking your Senators and Representative to oppose bill language that would exempt species from ESA protection.
Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act – Needs Senate Republican Leadership
Up to 1 billion birds die each year from collisions with buildings and glass. New construction can incorporate bird-friendly building design strategies which minimizes additional costs. The Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act would help prevent the deaths of millions of birds by including bird-safe building materials and design features into public buildings. Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act – Senate bill, S. 1920 and House bill, H.R. 2542 has been introduced and is gaining support.
TAKE ACTION: Please click here and ask your Senators and Representative to support and cosponsor the Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act.
North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) Toolkits Available
The North American Bird Conservation Initiative’s National Bird Conservation Priorities are now available and you can find the document on their website. NABCI also has a new Relevancy Toolkit, a resource designed to facilitate conversations between the bird-focused community and other partners whose broad goals may align with bird conservation outcomes. Some partners may wish to pull out a few examples and create a handout tailored to a specific audience; for example,this sample one-pager may be useful to build connections with the USDA and affiliates.
Alliance for Zero Extinction Gaining Influence
We are pleased to report that the first-ever national ordinance in support of the Alliance for Zero Extinction was signed by Brazil. This commits Brazil to identify and map sites holding the last known populations of highly threatened species. We are also pleased to report the inclusion of AZE sites in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)’s SBSTTA-22 recommendations for accelerating progress on Aichi Biodiversity Targets 11 and 12. Please find the recommendations here: https://www.cbd.int/doc/recommendations/sbstta-22/sbstta-22-rec-04-en.pdf.
Endangered Cranes Find an Ally in Kansas Utility Companies
Endangered Whooping Cranes are safer during their twice-yearly migratory journeys, thanks to years of effort by Kansas utility companies to identify and mark powerlines that pose the greatest risk to the birds. Although rare, collision with powerlines is the greatest known source of mortality for fledged Whooping Cranes.
“Whooping Cranes number only about 750 in the world, including more than 500 that migrate between Aransas Wildlife Refuge in Texas and their Canadian breeding grounds,” said Steve Holmer, Vice President of Policy at American Bird Conservancy. “We’re grateful for the work by Westar Energy and other companies who are helping to make the Whooping Crane’s long-distance journey safer and more likely to succeed.”