Policies & Regulations

Balancing Human Use and Conservation Needs of Birds

For over a century, wildlife conservation laws and regulations have been enacted to keep our bird populations healthy. As part of our mandate to conserve birds and their habitats, we administer the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. These acts are at the foundation of the Migratory Bird Program.

Working with partners, we develop policies and regulations to ensure consistent implementation of bird conservation laws and achieve conservation objectives.

We issue permits for the legal use of migratory birds. Activities such as falconry, raptor and game bird propagation, scientific collecting, rehabilitation, taxidermy, cultural and religious use, depredation, and education using migratory birds are regulated but must be accompanied by the proper permits. We balance bird conservation and health and human safety by issuing permits for take of birds when they conflict with these concerns.

All permits are issued by our regional permits offices.

The Migratory Bird Program provides many opportunities for organizations and individuals to participate in development of these permitting tools for migratory bird conservation. In addition, we have developed, and continues to develop, voluntary guidance that helps project proponents reduce their impacts on these species. For more information on available voluntary guidance please visit our Guidance Documents page.

Last Updated: January 19, 2018