Save America’s Wildlife

Protecting America’s birds, no matter where they are flying

Because birds are only part-time residents of the U.S, we need to think more broadly about conserving their habitat.

Steve Emmons / USFWS | Public Domain
Snow geese

Birds that spend their summers in the U.S. often winter elsewhere — Mexico, Central America, South America or the Bahamas. They don’t always summer here either. Many spend the warmest months further north, in Canada, and the U.S. serves as their migratory route in the spring and fall.

For birds, political boundaries are for the birds, which is precisely why the Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Enhancements Act has our attention. Representatives Maria Salazar (R-FL), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Mary Peltola (D-AK) have introduced the bipartisan bill to renew the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, which conserves habitat for America’s birds, much of it outside the country. 

It’s a little known program that’s doing good things. Since 2002, it has supported 717 projects in 43 countries.

MICHELLE HN / Pixabay |
Some wood ducks travel south to Mexico

In the words of the lawmakers championing the bill, here’s why it’s important: 

“South Florida’s birds are a vital and necessary part of our ecosystem,” said Rep. Salazar of Florida. “Neotropical birds that span the Americas are not only unique but are critical to pollinating many plant species in our forests and wetlands, including the Everglades.”

“Alaska’s migratory birds are an important part of our state’s beauty and biodiversity,” said Rep. Peltola of Alaska. “I’m proud to support this bipartisan effort to protect a diverse set of bird species and the critical roles they play in our ecosystem.”

“Ohio is a haven for bird watchers, especially along Lake Erie. Reauthorizing the successful Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act program will continue to conserve bird habitats and support healthy bird populations, which are critical to our outdoor recreation economy,” said Rep. Joyce of Ohio. 

“Pesticide pollution, deforestation and invasive species threaten the more than 350 migratory bird species that rely on the Pacific Northwest as their flyaway,” said Rep. Larsen of Washington. “This bipartisan bill will help protect these diverse bird populations and their habitats.”

A big thank you to these lawmakers for their leadership. 

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