U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Migratory Bird Management

The Division of Migratory Bird Management (MBM) is mandated by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and several international treaties to conserve and manage migratory birds in Alaska. We collect information on distribution, abundance, diversity, and trends of game and nongame birds through a combination of aerial, boat, and ground surveys. We also identify and protect important bird habitats through implementation of conservation plans. In addition, we review and issue permits for activities involving migratory birds. An important part of our job is to work with other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offices, state and federal agencies, Alaska Native groups, and private organizations to ensure our efforts are integrated into other conservation initiatives.

Migratory Bird Management programs include:

  • Monitoring population distribution and abundance of waterfowl, loons and grebes, landbirds, seabirds, shorebirds, and raptors.
  • Identifying important breeding, brood-rearing, staging, and wintering habitats.
  • Banding and marking birds to determine migration patterns, mortality, longevity and habitat use.
  • Determining effects of catastrophic events such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
  • Obtaining information on subsistence harvest of migratory birds by Alaska Natives.
  • Maintaining databases on all of the above and providing these, as well as other technical assistance, to other agencies, land managers and private organizations.
  • Issuing permits for scientific collecting and other educational uses of birds.
  • Educating the public about migratory bird issues. (For an example, see our Bird Feeding Fact Sheet)

To find out more about our the Migratory Bird Management program or if you have specific questions please browse our website or call (907) 786-3443

migratory bird treaty centennial

Surveys and Monitoring

Wildlife Biologist/Pilot, Heather Wilson standing on float plane off shore

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western sandpipers

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Bristle-thighed Curlew (BTCU). Photo by K. Sowl/USFWS

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Man sitting on the edge of Three Step Mountain looking at the Kwethluk River

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Outreach and Education

A Hermit Thrush taking flight from the hands of a volunteer

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Avian Health and Disease

Dead Common Murres

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Visit the following sites for more information on migratory birds: