USFWS
Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial 1916-2016
Alaska Region

I Dance image by VRae

Conserving Today’s Birds for Tomorrow

The year 2016 marks the centennial of the Convention between the United States and Great Britain (for Canada) for the Protection of Migratory Birds which laid the groundwork for the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. The Migratory Bird Treaty forms the cornerstone of our nation’s efforts to conserve birds that migrate across international borders. The treaty connects the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service with our federal, state, private, non-government, tribal, and international partners who share a long, successful history of conserving, protecting, and managing migratory bird populations and their habitats. Commemorating the centennial of the first treaty allows us to bring together those who have contributed to its success, and to galvanize efforts to protect migratory birds for generations to come.

Migratory birds...

  • connect people with nature and add beauty, sound and color to our world. They provide countless opportunities for enjoyment by birders, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts, and they have cultural and spiritual importance.
  • contribute environmental benefits, including pollination, insect and rodent control, and seed dispersal.
  • are good indicators of environmental health because they are so visible and are relatively easy to study. Studying birds can give us a picture of what is going on in the natural world.
  • play a key role in the U.S. economy, that create jobs and generate billions of dollars in revenue.

Goals of the Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial

  • Create awareness about the importance of migratory bird conservation
  • Promote key actions to help conserve birds
  • Increase support for funding that benefits migratory bird conservation
  • Expand opportunities for engagement in bird watching, hunting, and conservation
  • Increase understanding of the impacts the Migratory Bird Treaty had on native peoples, history of the 1997 amendment, and importance of birds to indigenous peoples of the north.

National Centennial Fact Sheet

Alaska Centennial Fact Sheet

Migratory Birds: A Brief History (video)