Migratory Bird Program
Conserving the Nature of America

Hooded Mergansers Credit: USFWS
Providing Global Leadership in the Conservation and Management of Migratory Birds for Present and Future Generations


URBAN BIRD TREATY
PROGRAM

 

 

 

 

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NEWS

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Proposed Frameworks for Early-Season Migratory Bird Hunting

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife proposes to establish the 2011–12 early-season hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds. The Service annually prescribe frameworks, or outer limits, for dates and times when hunting may occur and the maximum number of birds that may be taken and possessed in early seasons.

Comments on the proposed early-season frameworks must be received by August 5, 2011. Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions on Docket No. FWS–R9–MB–2011–0014.
U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R9–MB–2011–0014; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203. E-mailed or faxed comments are not accepted. All comments will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.

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DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT ON PROPOSED HUNTING REGULATIONS FOR THE EASTERN POPULATION OF SANDHILL CRANES IN THE MISSISSIPPI FLYWAYSandhill Crane

Our Environmental Assessment (EA) outlines two approaches for assessing the ability of the Eastern Population Sandhill Crane population to withstand the level of harvest contained in the Eastern Population management plan. The EA concluded that the anticipated combined level of harvest and crippling loss in Kentucky could be sustained by the proposed hunt. Population modeling indicated harvests below 2,000 birds would still result in a growing population of the eastern population of Sandhill Cranes.

Specifics of the two alternatives we analyzed can also be found at http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds, or at http://www.regulations.gov.

Sandhill Crane
Credit: Rod Drewien

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Waterfowl Population Status, 2011

Survey Plane

The Waterfowl Population Status report includes the most current breeding population and production information available for waterfowl in North America and is a result of cooperative efforts by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Canadian Wildlife Service, various state and provincial conservation agencies, and private conservation organizations. This report is intended to aid the development of waterfowl harvest regulations in the United States for the 2011 - 2012 hunting season.

Federal, provincial, and state agencies conduct surveys each spring to estimate the size
of breeding waterfowl populations and to evaluate habitat conditions. These surveys are conducted using airplanes and helicopters, and cover over 2.0 million square miles that encompass principal breeding areas of North America.

Visit www.Flyways.US to view the Status of Waterfowl video and a host of other reports and valuable information about the amazing world of waterfowl and waterfowl management in North America.

http://flyways.us/status-of-waterfowl/video-report

Photo Credit: USFWS

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AHM Report Cover

Adaptive Harvest Management
2011 Hunting Season

This document is part of a series of reports intended to support development of harvest regulations for the 2011 hunting season. Specifically, this report is intended to provide waterfowl managers and the public with information about the use of adaptive
harvest management (AHM) for setting waterfowl hunting regulations in the United States.The AHM approach provides a framework for making objective decisions in the face of incomplete knowledge concerning waterfowl population dynamics and regulatory impacts. Report now available.


Cover art: 2011 Federal Duck stamp artist James Hautman's painting of a pair of white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons).

Visit www.Flyways.US to view video clips that outline the Adaptive Harvest Management annual process of setting waterfowl regulations in the Unites States.

http://flyways.us/regulations-and-harvest/adaptive-harvest-management

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Hunter Setting Decoys
Migratory Bird Hunting Activity and Harvest During the 2009 and 2010 Hunting Seasons Now Available

This 2011 report presents hunter activity and harvest estimates from the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) surveys for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 hunting seasons. These estimates are preliminary, pending (1) final counts of the number of HIP registrants in each state each season, and (2) complete audits of all survey response data.

 


Photo Credit: Milton Friend / USFWS

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Cities Receive Funding to Help Migratory Birds

Urban Treaty LogoThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces 10 new U.S. cities andnine exiting cities to receive $650,000 in funding as part of the Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds (Urban Bird Treaty) grant program. The Urban Bird Treaty program, administered by the Service, brings together private citizens, as well as federal, state, and municipal agencies and non-governmental organizations to conserve migratory birds through education programs, participation in citizen science, conservation and habitat improvement strategies,and reducing hazards to birds in urban/suburban areas.

More Information
Press Release

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Jerome Ford Named Assistant Director for Migratory Birds

Jerome Ford

As Assistant Director, Ford will oversee the diverse activities of the Migratory Bird Program, which administers the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and other federal migratory bird laws, implements and oversees bird management and conservation programs across North America, and coordinates the monitoring and assessment of both game and nongame migratory birds.

 

 

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Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove Population Status, 2011

The Mourning Dove, one of the most abundant bird species in urban and rural areas of North America, is familiar to millions of people. This report summarizes information on abundance and harvest of mourning doves collected annually in the United States.

Photo Credit: Dave Menke / USFWS

All Division of Migratory Bird Management reports are available on our web site at:
http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/newspublicationsreports.html

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Service Solicits Input on Captive Propagation of Bald and Golden Eagles

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking soliciting input on whether to allow captive propagation of Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles, which is not allowed at present.  The Service seeks comments on the following, in particular.

Eagle(1)  Whether to allow propagation of Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles under raptor propagation permits.
(2)  Qualifications and experience necessary to propagate eagles.
(3)  Limits or restrictions that should apply to propagation of eagles.
(4)  Special restrictions that should apply with regard to imprinting.
(5)  Whether propagators should be allowed to hybridize Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles with other species of eagles.
(6)  Restrictions on purposes for which captive-bred eagles may be held.
(7)  Qualifications and experience necessary to possess a captive-bred Bald Eagle or Golden Eagle.
(8)  Special facilities requirements for propagation of Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles.
(9)  Report information that should be required from a permit holder, if any.
(10)  Other conditions that should apply to these permits.

Comments and suggestions can be submitted by one of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS–R9–MB–2011–0020.
U.S. Mail or hand delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attention: FWS–R9– MB–2011–0020; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203–1610.

Comments are due by the end of the day October 4, 2011.

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Service Solicits Input on Regulation Governing Use of Raptors in Abatement

KestrelThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking soliciting input on development of a regulation governing the use of raptors in abatement. Abatement is the use of trained raptors to flush, scare (haze), or take birds or other wildlife to mitigate damage or other problems, including risks to human health and safety. The Service has permitted this activity under special purpose permits since 2007 pursuant to a migratory bird permit policy memorandum. The Service seeks information and suggestions from the public to help formulate the regulation.

Comments on the following, in particular are welcomed.

(1) Qualifications and experience necessary to qualify for a Federal abatement permit.
(2) Limits on the species that should be authorized for use in abatement activities.

(3) Limits on the numbers of raptors that should be authorized for use in abatement activities.
(4) Qualifications and experience of subpermittees (both those authorized to fly the permit holder’s raptors and those allowed to care for birds).
(5) Caging requirements for birds, while traveling, being transported and held in “temporary” caging for extended periods of time, i.e., multiple birds held in a trailer while conducting seasonal abatement activities at multiple locations.
(6) The use of falconry birds held by subpermittees for abatement.
(7) Any other considerations relating to subpermittees conducting abatement activities under a permit holder’s permit, including their business relationship to the permit holder. For example, should falconers located elsewhere in the United States be allowed to conduct abatement activities in their own locale as subpermittees under a permit holder’s abatement permit?  Why or why not?
(8) Comments on what has or has not worked well under existing permits.
(9) Report information that should be required from a permit holder, if any.
(10) Other conditions that should apply to these permits.
(11) Examples of situations where raptors are used for abatement and information or documentation of success or lack of success in accomplishing abatement objectives.

Comments and suggestions can be submitted by either the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS–R9–MB–2009-0045.
U.S. Mail or hand delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attention: FWS–R9– MB–2009–0045; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203–1610.
Comments are due October 4, 2011.

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Trends in Duck Breeding Populations, 1955-2011 - Released

WaterfowlThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2011 Report on Trends in Duck Breeding Populations summarizes information about the status of duck populations and wetland habitats during spring of 2011. The preliminary population estimate of total ducks from the 2011 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey was 45.6 million birds. This estimate represents an 11% increase over last year’s estimate of 40.8 million birds and is  35% above the long-term average (these estimates exclude scoters, eiders, Long-tailed Ducks, and Wood Ducks).

The annual survey guides the Service’s waterfowl conservation programs under authority of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Service works in partnership with state biologists from the four flyways – the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific – to establish regulatory frameworks for waterfowl hunting season lengths, dates, and bag limits.

The entire Trends in Duck Breeding Populations, 1955-2011 report available here.

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Migratory Bird Program Loses Pilot in Fatal Crash

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regrets to announce the loss of Thom Lewis on June 23, 2011 in a fatal aircraft accident. Thom worked in Region 9 as a pilot biologist for the Migratory Bird Program. Thom and his instructor were conducting early morning instructional flights on Eglin Air Force Base near Fort Walton Beach in Okaloosa County, Florida. 

Thom grew up and attended high school in Maryland where he became an avid outdoorsman.  Thom attended Anne Arundel Community College, University of Maryland, and most recently Texas A & M University where he was a M.S. Candidate working with Whooping Cranes.  Since 1992, Thom was the Refuge Biologist at St. Vincent NWR in the Florida panhandle until he joined the Division of Migratory Bird Management as a pilot biologist in 2007. 

Memorial donations can be made to:
Florida Wild Mammal Association
198 Edgar Pole Rd.
Crawfordsville, FL 32327
850-363-2351
www.wakullawildlife.org/

Our thoughts are with Thom’s family and colleagues.

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American Woodcock Population Status 2011Report Now Available

American Woodcock

The American Woodcock Population Status 2011 report summarizes the results of Singing-ground Survey, Wing-collection Survey, and the Harvest Information Program and presents an assessment of the population status of American Woodcock as of early June 2011. Reliable annual population estimates, harvest estimates, and information on recruitment and distribution are essential for comprehensive woodcock management. The report is intended to assist managers in regulating the sport harvest of woodcocks and to draw attention to areas where management actions are needed.

American Woodcock Population Status 2011

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2011 Band-tailed Pigeon Population Status Report

Band-tailed PigeonBand-tailed Pigeons are managed cooperatively by State and provincial wildlife agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Canadian Wildlife Service. Each year, counts of Band-tailed Pigeons heard and seen are conducted by state, provincial, federal, and other biologists in the western United States and British Columbia to monitor population status. The report information is used by wildlife administrators to set annual hunting regulations.

Band-tailed Pigeon Population Status 2011

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Presidential Migratory Bird Federal Stewardship Awarded to the Office of Surface Mining

The Council for the Conservation of Migratory Birds’ 2011 Presidential Migratory Bird Cerulean WarblerFederal Stewardship Award was presented to the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) and their numerous partners at the Environment for the America’s National celebration and recognition of International Migratory Bird Day. The action of OSM associated with the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) is being recognized by the Council for the Conservation of Migratory Birds in support of the conservation intent of Executive Order 13186, Responsibilities of Federal Agencies to Protect Migratory Birds. Through the ARRI, OSM and partners have focused on restoring forests where deforestation by surface coal mining has occurred in Appalachian areas.

For more information
Press release

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Migratory Bird Permits; Changes in the
Regulations Governing Raptor Propagation

Harris Hawk


The Service has published revised regulations governing propagation of raptors (50 CFR 21.30). The final rule made substantial changes in the regulations which are now written in plain language. The following are substantive changes to the regulations:

1. The permit period is changed from three to five years.


Photo: Harris's Hawk, Credit USFWS

2. Until they are one year old, captive-bred offspring may be used in actual hunting as a means of training them.
3. The requirement for reporting within five days on eggs laid by raptors in propagation has been eliminated. An annual report on propagation efforts will be required from permittees.
4. A permittee will not have to submit or have a copy of a FWS Form 3–186A for raptors produced by captive propagation if the raptors are kept in the permittee’s possession under his or her propagation permit.

These changes and others in the regulations are designed to make raptor propagation and compliance with the regulations simpler for permittees.

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Proposed Changes to 10.13 Migratory Bird Treaty Act Species List

The Service recently published a proposed rule  for revisions to the list of bird species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Proposed additions include species with new taxonomy and new evidence of occurrence in the U.S. or U.S. territories, and removal of species no longer occur in the U.S. is being proposed. The net increase of 19 species (23 added and four removed) brings the total number of species protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) to 1,026. Comments on the proposed changes must be submitted by the end of the day on 25 July. Comments may be  may submitted by either one of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the
instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS–R9–MB–2010–0088.
U.S. Mail or hand delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R9– MB–2010–0088; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203– 1610.

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State of the Birds 2011 Report on Public Lands and Waters Released

State of the Birds CoverSecretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Harris Sherman today released the 2011 State of the Birds Report, the nation’s first assessment of birds on lands and waters owned by the American people. The report concludes that America’s public lands and waters, ranging from national wildlife refuges to national parks to national forests, offer significant opportunities to halt or reverse the decline of many species. More than 1,000 bird species inhabit the U.S., 251 of which are federally threatened, endangered, or of conservation concern. The report provides a scientific tool to help public agencies identify the most significant conservation opportunities in each habitat.

For more information visit www.stateofthebirds.org
Key Messages Sheet
Science Information Sheet
Press Release

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Environmental Assessment Zones and Split Seasons for Duck Hunting


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposes to establish annual hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds for the 2011-12 hunting season. The Service annually prescribe outside limits (frameworks) within which States may select hunting seasons. This proposed rule provides the regulatory schedule, describes the proposed regulatory alternatives for the 2011-12 duck hunting seasons, requests proposals from Indian Tribes that wish to establish special migratory game bird hunting regulations on Federal Indian reservations and ceded lands, and requests proposals for the 2013 spring and summer migratory bird subsistence season in Alaska. Migratory game bird hunting seasons provide opportunities for recreation and sustenance; aid Federal, State, and Tribal governments in the management of migratory game birds; and permit harvests at levels compatible with migratory game bird population status and habitat conditions.

Comments on the proposed changes to the zone and split season guidelines for duck hunting and the associated draft environmental assessment on or before May 15, 2011.
To make comments visit: http://federalregister.gov/a/2011-8404

Environmental Assessment is available here.

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Guidance will help protect birds and wildlife

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released two documents to help employees and wind industry work together to site and design on-shore wind energy facilities. These documents, when finalized, will shape the Service’s efforts to protect the nation’s landscapes and wildlife while wind energy development moves forward. The two documents are:

  • Draft Voluntary Wind Energy Guidelines for industry to avoid and minimize impacts to federally protected migratory birds and bats and other impacted wildlife resulting from site selection, construction, operation and maintenance of land-based, wind energy facilities.
  • Draft Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance for wind project developers and Service employees who must evaluate impacts from proposed wind energy projects to eagles protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and other federal laws.

Instruction for public comment on draft Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance

For more information visit http://www.fws.gov/windenergy/

Bald Eagle

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Presidental Migratory Bird Stewardship Award Annoucement

The Council for the Conservation of Migratory Birds seeks nominations for the 2011 Presidential Migratory Bird Stewardship Award (Award). The Award will annually recognize a single project or action conducted by or in partnership with a Federal agency that meets the intent and spirit of the Executive Order by focusing on migratory bird conservation. Actions may involve reducing existing or potential adverse impacts to migratory birds and their habitats, restoring or enhancing migratory bird habitat, and incorporating conservation of migratory birds and their habitat into agency plans, guidance, or other activities. Nominated action or project must have been initiated no earlier than January 2001. Nominations for the Award are due no later than March 1, 2011.

Award Annoucement
Nomination Application

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Christmas Bird Count

Christmas Bird CountTens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) from December 14 through January 5th.

You can be one of those volunteers! For over one hundred years, people have participated in the CBC to make a difference for science and bird conservation and to experience the beauty of nature. For more information visit http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count

Photo Credit: Lisa Sorenson

Kids Count, too!

Across the country kids are being encouraged to participate in a Christmas time count specific for getting kids interested in birds and citizen science. You can organize an event to help encourage kids to enjoy the out of doors and the wonder of birds.

For more information about organizing an event – visit – CBC 4 KIDS

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The Service has changed the regulations governing control of depredating blackbirds, cowbirds, grackles, crows, and magpies at 50 CFR 21.43.

Rusty Blackbird

Because of long-term evidence of population declines throughout much of their ranges, the Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) and the Mexican (Tamaulipas) Crow (Corvus imparatus) have been removed from the list of species that may be controlled under a depredation order. After this regulations change is effective, a depredation permit will required to conduct control actions to take either of these species. Additionally, nontoxic shot or bullets must be used in most cases when a firearm is used to control any species listed under the order. A requirement to report on control actions taken under the order has also been added. Final rule.

Rusty Blackbird, Credit USFWS

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Service Announces Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds Challenge Grants


Urban Treaty LogoThe Service announces the availability of new challenge funding grants for nine new cities under the Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds (Urban Bird Treaty). The Service will also revisit the current nine Urban Bird Treaty cities with challenge grant funds to continue their participation in the program. The Urban Bird Treaty program, a program working with cities and partners to conserve birds through education, hazard reductions, conservation actions, and conservation and habitat improvement strategies in urban/suburban areas, is designed to help municipal governments educate their citizens about birds and conserve birds that nest, overwinter or migrate through their cities.
Urban Bird Treaty

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Canada Geese in flight.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has posted the final late season frameworks from which States select season dates, limits, and other options for the 2010–11 migratory bird hunting seasons.

These late seasons include most waterfowl seasons, the earliest of which commences on September 25, 2010. The effect of this final rule is to facilitate the States’ selection of hunting seasons and to further the annual establishment of the late-season migratory bird hunting regulations. For the final rule see pdf here.

Photo Credit: USFWS

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Proposed Educational Use Regulations

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing permit regulations to authorize the possession and use of migratory birds in educational programs and exhibits.The proposed rule also would revise existing regulations authorizing public exhibition of eagles. In addition, it would remove the permit exemption for some public institutions for possession of live migratory birds and migratory bird specimens, and clarify that birds held under the exemption must be used for conservation education. For a copy of the proposed regulations, click here.

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Waterfowl Hunting Season Frameworks Proposed

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed hunting season lengths for the upcoming 2010–11 late waterfowl seasons. The proposed frameworks include duck hunting season lengths of 60 days in both the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways, 74 days in the Central Flyway, and 107 days in the Pacific Flyway. State wildlife agencies select their seasons from within the frameworks which establish the earliest beginning and latest ending dates and the maximum season length and bag limits.

News Release

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Program Announces Receipt of New Aircraft

Kodiak AirplaneOn July 30, 2010 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Migratory Bird Management program announced the receipt of nine new Kodiak float planes during the EAA AirVenture aviation show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. These larger and more powerful turbine-driven, amphibious Kodiak planes will replace older and smaller aircraft currently used to fly traditional migratory bird surveys across North America. They represent a better tool to carry on the Service’s mission of monitoring and managing waterfowl populations.

For a look at what pilot biologists do visit: http://flyways.us/status-of-waterfowl/pilot-reports
Photo Credit: David Pederson, USFWS

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2010 Waterfowl Population Status Report Released

Duck Stamp - American WigeonHabitat conditions during the 2010 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey were characterized by average to below-average moisture, a mild winter, and early spring across the entire traditional (including northern locations) and eastern survey areas. The total pond estimate (Prairie Canada and U.S. combined) was 6.7 million. This was similar to the 2009 estimate and 34% above the long-term average of 5.0 million ponds. Conditions across the Canadian prairies were similar to 2009. Portions of southern Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba improved but a large area along the Alberta and Saskatchewan border remained dry, and moisture levels in portions of Manitoba declined from last year. The 2010 estimate of ponds in Prairie Canada was 3.7 million.


Status of Waterfowl report and last year's havest figures.

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Adaptive Harvest Management 2010 Hunting Season

Report now available.

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Report Released on Migratory Bird Hunting Activity and Harvest During the 2008 and 2009 Hunting Seasons

The Migratory Bird Hunting Activity and Harvest During Gadwallthe 2008 and 2009 Hunting Seasons report presents hunter activity and harvest estimates from the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) surveys for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 hunting seasons. About 1.2 million waterfowl hunters harvested 13,635,700 ducks and 3,792,600 geese in 2008, and about 1.1 million waterfowl hunters harvested 13,139,800 ducks and 3,327,000 geese in 2009. Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Gadwall, Blue-winged/Cinnamon teal, and Wood Duck were the five most-harvested duck species in the U.S., and Canada Goose was the predominant goose species in the goose harvest. The report estimates are preliminary, pending (1) final counts of the number of HIP registrants in each state each season, and (2) complete audits of all survey response data.

For the complete report http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/NewReportsPublications/HIP/HuntingStatistics/Migratory Bird Hunting Activity and Harvest During the 2008 and 2009 Hunting Seasons. Preliminary Estimates.pdf

To view harvest trends over time, go to http://flyways.us/regulations-and-harvest/harvest-trends. This site allows you to view harvest trends for a specific species in a specific state; or results for all ducks or all geese on a national level or within a selected flyway; or the total of all ducks and geese at the national level. Results from these custom reports are presented in line graph format to easily illustrate harvest trends from 1961 through 2009.

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) on the setting of annual regulations permitting the hunting of migratory birds.

The Service uses the annual process to evaluate and establish a framework for hunting seasons and numbers of birds which may be taken in each of four flyways across the nation. HuntingWaterfowl and other bird species are hunted for food and recreation through regulations set each year by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in consultation with state fish and wildlife agencies. The draft SEIS proposes to adjust the process for authorizing migratory bird hunting in accordance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (Act) of 1918. The Service is requesting comments before March 26th, 2011 on the alternatives described in the draft SEIS and all agencies, organizations, and individuals are invited to provide comments along with any suggestions for improving the draft SEIS.

The draft SEIS may be found at:
http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/NewReportsPublications/Hunting
/SEIS%207%20June%20b%202010.pdf

Press Release
Notice of Availability

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Releases 2010 Waterfowl Breeding Population Estimates

The 2010 preliminary estimate of the total duck population from the traditional survey area of the Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey is 40.9 million birds. The report summarizes information about the status of duck populations and wetland habitats during spring 2010, focusing on areas encompassed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Canadian Wildlife Services’ Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey.

 Canvasback 
 Photo Credit: USFWS

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Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, and Band-tailed Pigeon, 2010 Population Status

Mourning DoveThese reports summarize information on the abundance and harvest of Mourning Doves collected annually in the United States, the White-winged Dove populations in Arizona and summary information on the abundance and harvest of Band-tailed Pigeons collected annually in the western United States and British Columbia.

White-winged Dove   Band-tailed Pigeon   Mourning Dove

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American Woodcock


Annual Report

American Woodcock
Population Status, 2010

 

 

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Saving our Shared Birds: Partners in Flight Tri-National Vision for Landbird Conservation

PIF English Report Cover

May 11th, 2010,  the governments of United States, Canada, and Mexico, on behalf of Partner in Flight organizations, announced the release of a ground-breaking report articulating tri-national priorities for bird conservation. The report, Saving our Shared Birds: Partners in Flight Tri-National Vision for Landbird Conservation, was unveiled at the XVth Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management annual meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The report - a collaboration by bird conservation experts from the three nations’ leading conservation PIF organizations– is the first comprehensive conservation assessment of bird species in North America. Release of this report also coincides with International Migratory Bird Day 2010, which celebrates the power of bird partnerships, was observed on May 8.


The United States, Canada, and Mexico share 882 native landbird species, more than one-third of which depend substantially on all three countries each year. The report identifies 148 bird species in need of immediate conservation attention because of their highly threatened and declining populations and the threats they face.

Overview Factsheet

For more information link here: http://www.savingoursharedbirds.org/

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Supporting Response to Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is participating in a unified command response to the April 20 incident in the Gulf of Mexico involving the Transocean drilling Rig Deep Water Horizon. For updates on the spill and response team activities, go to: www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com

Potential Threats to Bird Life along the Gulf Coast

The greatest threat to bird life would be to species which nest along the barrier islands, beaches, and shorelines along the Gulf Coast.  Potential species at risk include sandwich tern, royal tern, least tern, Forster's tern, caspian tern, brown pelican, and black skimmer.  Birds would be most susceptible to being oiled while foraging for fish and other food items in the open Gulf waters or near nesting sites.  Nesting sites/colonies could also be at risk if storm tides push oiled water over barrier islands or beaches where those birds typically nest. 

Bird In OilSeveral species of birds found in interior marsh areas could also be impacted if oiled water moves farther inland.  Potential species at risk include great blue heron, great egret, snowy egret, mottled duck, clapper rail, king rail, and common moorhen.  Those species would also be at greatest risk while foraging in oiled water.

The longer oiled water persists, greater numbers of hatchlings and fledglings of the above species would be present and would be particularly vulnerable. Individuals are urged not to attempt to help injured or oiled animals, but to report any sightings to the toll free number.

Oiled birds and other wildlife should be reported by calling 1-866-557-1401.

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National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management Sign Memoranda of Understandings with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

These MOUs help accomplish the Executive Order 13186, “Responsibilities of Federal Agencies to Protect Migratory Birds” ensuring Agencies successfully implement their migratory bird conservation responsibilities. The conservation of birds will help sustain ecological integrity and ecosystem services, including insect control, pollination, and seed dispersal. Migratory bird conservation also meets the growing public demand, and need, for outdoor education and recreation. More Information

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Paul Schmidt Awarded the Partners in Flight 20th Champion of Bird Conservation Award

Paul Schmidt

For his tireless leadership, extraordinary vision, andpersistence in the development of Partners in Flight, Paul R. Schmidt received the Champion of Bird Conservation Award at the Partners in Flight 20th Anniversary Celebration held at the 75th Annual North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference on March 23.

Paul Schmidt Assistant Director Migratory Bird Program accepts award for outstanding contributions to Partners in Flight. Photo Credit: Junior D. Kerns.

 

 

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Division of Migratory Bird Management Branch of Population and Habitat Assessment Receives Rachel Carson Award

The Rachel Carson awards are bestowed on individuals and groups providing key scientificMark Koneff support for new and innovative conservation initiatives and efforts on behalf of Federal, State, and private conservation organizations. The awards are given in two categories – individual and group. The group award was given to the Branch of Population and Habitat Assessment, an organizational component within the Service’s Division of Migratory Bird Management. The awards recognize Service employees for significant contributions expanding knowledge in the scientific, conservation and wildlife management fields.

The Branch of Population and Habitat Assessment work over the years has contributed significantly to numerous scientific and technical achievements in the management of waterfowl and other migratory birds, successes that have been widely recognized throughout the wildlife research and management communities. Branch staff has played a major role in making major improvements in the way migratory waterfowl populations are managed since its inception in the 1980’s. Supplying critical scientific and technical support for virtually all areas of migratory bird management at one time or another, branch staff was pivotal in the development and implementation of adaptive management through regulations on harvest of migratory waterfowl since the 1990s, a program which has gained widespread support and recognition from the conservation and wildlife management communities at all levels.

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State of the Birds 2010 Report on Climate Change

State of the Birds 2010The State of the Birds 2010 Report on Climate Change is our nation’s first comprehensive assessment of the vulnerability of nearly 800 bird species to climate change. The report shows that climate change will have an increasingly disruptive effect on bird species in all habitats. This 2010 report outlines conservation actions that will be important as biological planning and design of large-scale conservation efforts are advanced. The Migratory Bird Joint Ventures, Land Conservation Cooperatives, and public/private partnerships for the conservation of birds, and the actions outlined in every State's State Wildlife Action Plan will be important tools as we tackle the additional threats climate change will place on the birds of our nation. When conservationists can detect problems early enough, they can prevent extinction.

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Key Messages

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Memorials Planned for Ray Bentley and Dave Pitkin

After consultation with their families and friends, Region One has arranged for memorial tributes to FWS pilot-biologist Ray Bentley, 52, and former FWS biologist Dave Pitkin, 49, who were killed January 17, 2010 when their plane crashed near Corvallis, Oregon. Ray and Dave were participating in the mid-winter inventory of waterfowl along the Washington and Oregon coast and were returning to Corvallis when the crash occurred. The tributes will honor their lives, careers and their dedication to wildlife conservation. More Information

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CFR 10.13 - List of Migratory Birds

American Redstart

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revised the List of Migratory Birds by both adding and removing numerous species. Reasons for the changes to the list include correcting misspellings, adding species based on new evidence of occurrence in the United States or U.S. territories, removing species no longer known to occur within the United States, and changing names based on new taxonomy. An accurate and up-to-date list of species protected by the MBTA is essential for regulatory purposes.

Final Rule
Questions and Answers

 

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CFR 21.54 - Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck

The Muscovy Duck now occurs naturally in southern Texas, so it has been added to the list of birds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (50 CFR 10.13). This species has been introduced in other areas throughout the U.S. where it is an exotic species, and it is widely raised in captivity for food. 

To control the spread of Muscovy Ducks in areas outside their natural range, the Service also published a Control Order (50 CFR 21.54) that allows control of feral Muscovy Ducks, their nests, and eggs in areas outside their natural range (50 CFR 21.54).  Other regulations finalized at the same time as the listing and Control Order that restrict possession of Muscovy Ducks and require a permit to sell captive-bred Muscovy Ducks for food will not be administered at this time because the Service plans to revise those regulations in the near future.

Fact Sheet
Final Rule

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CFR 21.53 - Purple Swamphen

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has changed the regulations governing control of depredating or introduced migratory birds. The Purple Swamphen is not native to any State, and competes with native species. However, it has been added to the list of species protected under our Migratory Bird Treaty Act obligations because it occurs naturally in American Samoa. The Service has added §  21.53 to allow removal of Purple Swamphens in the contiguous United States, Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Final Rule

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Dave Sharp, Service’s Flyway Representative to the Central Flyway, Receives Meritorious Service Award

 

Dave Sharp AwardAt the Service Regulations Committee on February 3rd in Denver, Colorado, Dave Sharp received the Meritorious Service Award for accomplishments attained during his 32 years of service working with migratory birds.  Sharp has been the Service’s Flyway Representative to the Central Flyway since 1990.  He was recognized for his extensive work with migratory bird monitoring programs and for working collaboratively with the Central Flyway on myriad and sometimes controversial issues. Sharp was also recognized for his work on the Mitchell bill, which ultimately resulted in the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. Additionally, Sharp recently worked on the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the hunting of migratory birds, which will be used to guide harvest management years into the future.  Paul Schmidt, Assistant Director for Migratory Birds, presented the award to Sharp and the venue provided many of Sharp’s colleagues to congratulate him for receiving this honor the second-highest award that an individual may receive from the Department of Interior.

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Suffers Great Loss

Pilot Biologist Ray Bentley

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pilot-biologist Vernon Ray (Ray) Bentley, 52, (left) and co-pilot David Sherwood (Dave) Pitkin, 49, (below) were killed January 17th when their plane crashed near Corvallis, Oregon.


Biologist Dave Pitkin

 

The two pilots were participating in the Mid-winter Inventory of waterfowl along the Oregon coast and were returning to Corvallis when the crash occurred. Every winter, select teams of Service pilot-biologists and observers take to the skies to survey North America’s waterfowl during January in one of the oldest wildlife surveys, dating back to the 1930s.

A Tribute to Ray Bentley and David Pitkin

News Release

 

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New Nontoxic Shot Type Approved

The Service has approved an additional shot type, Tungsten-Iron-Fluoropolymer, as nontoxic for hunting waterfowl and coots. The Final Rule for this shot type was published on 20 October 2009.

Uncommon seabird nests successfully for first time in United States

Manx Shearwater

Biologists visiting Matinicus Rock, an island managed as part of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge, discovered a fledgling age Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) this month. This is the first time that a chick has been known to fledge, or reach an age when it leaves its nest, in the U.S.

Learn more: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/index.cfm

 

 

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Final Eagle Rule Announced

Permit Program in Final Rule for Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles

Bald Eagle and fledgling

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a final rule on two new permit regulations that would allow for the take of eagles and eagle nests under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act).

Bald Eagles were removed from the endangered species list in June 2007 because their populations recovered sufficiently. However, the protections under the Eagle Act continue to apply. When the Bald Eagle was delisted, the Service proposed regulations to create a permit program to authorize limited take of Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles where take is associated with otherwise lawful activities.

Final Rule
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City of Philadelphia Receives Grant for Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds

On August 13th at “Zoo Night” during American Ornithologists Union’s annual meeting, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced $70,000 in grant funding as part of the USFWS Urban Treaty Grant Announcement to Philadelphia Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds to the City of Philadelphia. The Treaty, a partnership between the Service, the City of Philadelphia, and Fairmount Park is a commitment to restore, conserve and protect valuable bird habitat within Philadelphia’s urban environment and to develop an informed public through education and training programs.

Press Release
More Information

 

 

 

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Birds of Conservation Concern

Rufous HummingbirdThe Division of Migratory Bird Management announces the availability of Birds of Conservation Concern 2008.This publication identifies species, subspecies, and populations of migratory and nonmigratory birds in need of additional conservation actions. We hope to stimulate coordinated and collaborative proactive conservation actions among Federal, State, tribal, and private partners. The species that appear in Birds of Conservation Concern 2008 are deemed to be the highest priority for conservation actions. We anticipate that the document will be consulted by Federal agencies and their partners prior to undertaking cooperative research, monitoring, and management actions that might directly or indirectly affect migratory birds. The Notice of Availability.

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Migratory Bird Lists

Migratory Bird
Partnership Agreements

MOU Signing

Migratory Bird
Strategic Plan

Migratory Bird Strategic Plan

Focal Species

Gotwit

Resident Canada Goose
Nest Egg Registration

Canada Goose

Migratory Bird
Flyways

Flyway Map

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Last updated: July 26, 2011